According to a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, it is now more reliable to detect cervical cancer through use of a DNA test than it is to use a Pap smear test.A DNA test can detect the human papillomavious, which is the root that causes cervical cancer, more effectively than the previously used Pap smear.
Speaking on “Good Morning America”, medical contributor Dr. Marie Savard explained the difference between the two procedures, and the implications of them to our health.
How does a Pap Smear differ to a DNA test? Why is the DNA test more effective than the Pap Smear?
A Pap Smear test will check for cell changes caused by the cancer but, historically, this process has its flaws.This is one of the reasons why the Pap smear test needs to be done annually, as sometimes it fails to see certain cell changes, which the next text could then highlight.
Reports show that Pap smear test results are not always conclusive due to the detection of abnormal cancer cells occurring too late, by which time the cancer would have strated to spread through the body.
On the other hand, a DNA test will search for the actual virus, the source, making it a much more effective tool in the prevention of cervical cancer, because cervical cancer is caused by a virus.
Knowledge of this difference is being spread through medical and lay circles, in the hope that more awareness will lead to less cases of cervical cancer.
easyDNA specialises in the provision of genetic health testing for cancer. Contact us for more information.