Importance of HPV DNA Testing in Cervical Cancer Screening
- January 24,2022
- 2 Min Read
In India, cervical cancer accounts for 9.4% of all cancers.
1,23,907 new cases of cervical cancer were detected in 2020.
Suburban Diagnostics conducted a 5-year study on pap smears done using liquid-based cytology (PAP SurePath LBC) and analyzed whether there was an association between the diagnosis and the presence or absence of HPV DNA in the same samples.
The results were as follows:
The prevalence of HPV infection among women with normal cervical cytology was found to be 4.18%.
Analysis revealed a statistically significant association between HPV DNA and diagnosis on PAP LBC (p<0.001).
Reports of ASC-H, ASC-US, HSIL, LSIL, and SCC were higher in cases where HPV DNA was detected.
However, on deeper analysis, we found that knowing only the PAP LBC report would not help us in predicting whether the patient has an HPV infection.
In fact, having the knowledge of a patient’s PAP LBC report will lead to only a 2.9% decrease in error in our ability to predict the HPV status of the patient.
If HPV DNA is detected, genotyping should be done to identify the HPV strain (high-risk strains include: 16, 18, 31, 33, 34, 35, 39, 45, 51, 52, 56, 58, 59, 66, 68, and 70). High-risk type HPV-16 and 18 contribute over 70% of all cervical cancer cases.
Most guidelines also recommend primary HPV screening or co-testing:
TAKE HOME MESSAGE:
Co-testing or HPV DNA testing SHOULD be the preferred method of screening.
Doing a PAP LBC by itself is not enough.
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