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Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Newer HPV test

It is common knowledge that cervical cancer is related to HPV (human papilloma virus ) infection. There are many strains of HPV but 98% cervical cancer is due to HPV strains 16, 18 . HPV-DNA testing has been available in Singapore in the last 2 years and forms part of the testing that is done during the annual PAP smear. Although not always offered, it is a test which is advisable as it gives an indication of whether you are at high risk of cervical cancer even though your PAP smear may have been normal.

It is now possible to detect whether infection is due to the two main strains ie 16 and 18. A positive test means a 4x higher risk of cervical cancer. A positive test with a normal PAP smear should then be investigated with a colposcope (microscopic examination). Colposcopic examination and perhaps a biopsy may be necessary. A normal PAP with HPV positive of other strains need not be examined with colposcopy but observed. The HPV may in time be removed from the body by the bodies immune system and revert to HPV negative.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Doctor
    Could you advise if there is a HPV test for men in Singapore? Thanks