The medical fraternity recommends that women get a regular pap smear because it could be the key to saving their lives. A pap smear can be used to detect HPV, which is known to cause cervical cancer.
Cervical cancer is one of the most common types of cancers globally and one of the leading killer diseases. It thus makes sense to do anything that can reduce the risks of getting cervical cancer if possible. This is why scientists believe that pap smears are vital in the fight against cervical cancer because if HPV can be detected early, the proper treatment can be put in place.
Unfortunately, researchers have observed that many black women and Latino women do not go for pap smears. This means that they are at a higher risk of HPV, especially the older women that were not vaccinated against HPV. It is also why there is a need for another way of knowing whether one is at risk of cervical cancer. Researchers have been developing a home test kit that women can use to test themselves, especially if they do not wish to go for a pap smear.
How does the HPV home test kit work?
The HPV home test kit is designed to test for HPV by detecting methylated DNA segments. Higher methylation is linked to increased chances of cervical cells turning cancerous. If the test comes out positive and the patient is discovered to be in the early stages, it significantly increases survival chances because treatment can commence early.
The molecular test involved in the test is quite complex, but the user just needs a vaginal swab that the user can take in their home’s privacy. The swab can then be packaged and mailed to a lab, and the results will be sent back in two weeks. This approach makes it easier to facilitate privacy, and researchers aim to make it as low-cost as possible so that it can be easily available and accessible in more countries. The test might help encourage more women to know their situation, reducing cervical cancer deaths.