A new test which will improve the screening for cervical cancer will be available on the Scottish NHS by 2019. Following recommendations from the UK National Screening Committee (UKNSC), women between the ages of 25 and 64 who are offered a smear test that can identify changes that could develop into cervical cancer will also be checked for Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) – something that has been strongly linked to the cancer.
Cancer Research UK’s Gregor McNie said:
“It’s a huge step forward that the Scottish Government is now introducing a first line HPV test to improve cervical screening. Testing first for the human papilloma virus will help prevent more cervical cancers, as it can pick up the cancer-causing infection before any abnormalities could develop in the cells. The need for improvements to the cervical screening programme was set out in the Scottish Government’s cancer strategy published last year, so it’s good to see progress being made.”
The new test in cervical screening is part of the Scottish Government’s £100 million Cancer strategy published in March 2016.
Robert Music, Chief Executive, Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, said:
“It is positive to see the NHS in Scotland following advice from the UKNSC and changing to this more effective test which will reduce incidence of cervical cancer in Scotland and save lives. We look forward to working with the screening programme to ensure this change is made as smoothly as possible, communicated effectively to the public, and that the workforce in particular is supported to adapt to the changes.”
Reporter: Fiona Grahame