An end to the dreaded smear test is now in sight.


An end to the dreaded smear test is now in sight.

British scientists are hoping that a simple urine test or swab will become routine within three to five years. The simple urine or swab test could allow women to test themselves for cervical cancer in the privacy and comfort of their own homes.

The British scientists behind the tests said that in a study of 600 patients pre-cancer signs were identified with greater than 80 percent accuracy which is similar to existing methods. Cancer screening rates have plunged to a 21-year low with only seven in ten women attending because they find the smear test painful or embarrassing. It is believed that in the UK five million women are overdue for smear tests.  Many women who took part in the study were very interested in being able to test themselves at home. A larger study is to take place next year of 10,000 patients to confirm how well the test works.

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