Cervical Cancer: What is the HPV test?

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a common sexually transmitted infection that can cause changes to the cells of the cervix, accounting for 99.7% of cervical cancer cases. 

It is estimated that up to 80% of sexually active people will contract HPV at some point in their lives. 

While most HPV infections will clear up on their own, some may persist and lead to the development of cervical cancer over time.

The HPV test is a swab test which you can do at home. It is not diagnostic of cervical cancer, but rather a test to detect any presence of HPV. 

If HPV is detected, you may be referred for further tests, such as a smear test, to investigate for any cell abnormalities. 

By detecting any abnormalities early on, you can receive treatment and close monitoring to help prevent cervical cancer. If cervical cancer is detected, early treatment is usually less radical while also giving you a high chance of being cured.

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