Early diagnosis of cervical cancer: new test available

Updated: 06.07.2022 – 15:23

Automatic shrinkage test
New test for the early diagnosis of cervical cancer

Early diagnosis is important in cervical cancer.  A new test should now simplify this.

Photo: Getty Images / megaflop

Early diagnosis is important in cervical cancer. A new test should now simplify this.

A recently approved self-test in Europe aims to improve the early diagnosis of cervical cancer. Because despite vaccination and preventive medical checks, more than 4,300 women in Germany alone contract the dangerous type of cancer.

Cervical cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in women. The Pap smear on the cervix, which also detects possible changes caused by human papilloma viruses, is therefore part of the gynecological check-up. A new self-test should further simplify early diagnosis.

Early diagnosis of cervical cancer: new test

Cervical cancer, medically known as cervical cancer, is a dangerous type of cancer that causes tumors to develop in the lower part of the uterus. Before that, there are tissue changes in the cervix, the exit of the cervix into the vagina. These cancer precursors can be recognized by gynecological preventive examinations. A vaccination against the causative HPV virus has also been available for several years. However, more than 4,300 and around 1,600 women die from cervical cancer in Germany every year.

A recently approved self-test in Europe by pharmaceutical company Roche is said to offer three main benefits:

  • Patients can take samples on their own under the guidance of qualified personnel
  • smaller sample quantities are sufficient
  • faster results

This means that women can also test themselves for any changes outside of checkups paid for by mandatory health insurance companies.

Human papillomaviruses cause cervical cancer

As part of the gynecological checkup, women over the age of 35 are tested for human papillomavirus (HPV) every three years, and the test is offered annually for women between the ages of 20 and 34. Previous infection with these viruses is the most common cause of cervical cancer, which is transmitted through sexual intercourse or skin-to-skin contact in the genital area. Viruses infect the skin and mucous cells. Most women are infected between the ages of 20 and 30, but men can also be infected with HP viruses and pass them on. HPV vaccination is therefore also recommended for children.

Vaccination to protect against cervical cancer

HPV vaccination, which can protect against cervical cancer, has been available for several years for girls and boys aged 9 and up. Two vaccinations are given between the ages of 9 and 14. Three vaccinations are required from the age of 15. Immunization prevents human papillomavirus infection and fights the two most common high-risk HPV types, HPV 16 and 18. This reduces the risk of developing cervical cancer.


Sources: focus.de, krebsgesellschaft.de, krebsdaten.de, aerztezeitung.de

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