Alternative home test to Pap test

The results were presented at the Cancer Conference of the National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI), which took place in Glasgow and suggest that the method is feasible and that it can become very popular. Nevertheless, hospitals in UK will make more tests before making it extensive to their patients.

Although that happens, experts say, cytologies (or Pap tests) will continue to be performed in health centers, but this could be a new and simpler option for many women. Researchers anticipate that women can do the test at home and even order the kit online and then send the samples by mail to be analyzed in the laboratory.

Chemical changes

Dr. Belinda Nedjai, one of those responsible for the development of the test, which they called «the S5 test», says that it measures the chemical changes detected in urine samples or fluids from inside the vagina so they can measure if the women have risk of suffering from cancer.  There is a high risk of a precancerous lesion if the test score is high. In the study, S5 was able to distinguish successfully which women had precancerous lesions diagnosed with the conventional detection form.

A crucial test

The Pap test is aimed at detecting early signs of cancer known as pre-cancer that can be treated to try to prevent the disease. All women with a cervix between the ages of 25 and 64 are recommended to be tested, but many women avoid doing so, many times ashamed to show «the smell or appearance» of their intimate parts, according to a recent United Kingdom survey.

Other times, the data indicates, it is due to naivety or misinformation about the importance of this test to detect cervical cancer, the most common among 35-year-old women in that country. It is estimated that one in four British women do not take the test when they are cited, but the problem extends to other parts of the world.

Potential to «revolutionize»

Nedjai told that the collection of samples for the S5 test by women themselves was «quite accurate», although the test is not as effective as the Pap test. «But it will be soon. With improvements, we will reach that point». To do this, says the specialist, the test must be tested on more than 10,000 women.

She also believes that such home systems could be available in five years, at least in the United Kingdom, to improve detection and prevent some women from undergoing unnecessary tests. The Spanish doctor Manuel Rodriguez-Justo, from University College in London said that this is «exciting research that shows that it is possible to detect cervical pre-cancer, which has a high risk of becoming an invasive cancer».

And all this, he said, «thanks to urine and vaginal samples collected by women in the comfort and privacy of their own homes. This has the potential to revolutionize the way in which a positive Pap test is followed, in addition to facilitating testing for women from countries without screening programs».

Sophia Lowes, director of health information at Cancer Research UK, told that «the results look promising to detect women with advanced cell changes. Now it is necessary to find out if the test is accurate for a larger quantity of people». Robert Music, executive director of another British organization specializing in cervical cancer, Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, defined it as a «turning point». «For those women who find current methods difficult, including those with physical disabilities or trauma, it can mean access to screening tests that work in a more acceptable and accessible way», he said. «It can make those who require treatment more quickly identified and reduce the number of women who would do unnecessary research».

With information from: https://www.bbc.com

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