The current pap smear tests which check for abnormal cervical cells as a form of... proactive checking against cervical cancer is being replaced by the new Cervical Screening Test (CST). Instead, the CST will only check for the HPV (Human Papilloma Virus), which is one cause of cervical cancer. And the CST will only be required every 5 years instead of 2 years for the pap smear.
The CST will still require the same uncomfortable procedure to obtain cervical cells as the pap smear, just less frequently. Only if the HPV virus is found will someone actually visually check your pap smear for abnormal cells.
The issues here are several:
- The CST test is only looking for ONE possible causative factor of cervical cancer, being the HPV,
- The CST ignores all other possible causes of cervical cancer,
- and the less frequent testing (a money saving measure?) is a concern.
I believe these changes may in fact put more women at risk of cervical cancer. Abnormal cells found in the pap smear test are a better indicator of potential cervical cancer, so why the change?
Recent research (Oct 2017) suggests that an HPV infection alone is NOT sufficient to cause cervical cancer! Cervical cancer, and other reproductive cancers in women, are related to female hormones and often an imbalance between the hormones oestrogen and progesterone. The same research also suggests that an immune system dysfunction and inflammation are also equal causative factors in the development and progression of cervical cancer. Other recent research (Oct 2017) says these other factors are mandatory for the development of cervical cancer. So pap smears or the new CST are simply not good enough screening tests for this type of cancer.
As a better preventative for cervical cancer, or other female cancers, or in fact ANY cancer, you can get your immune system function checked, inflammation levels tested, and female hormone levels tested regularly for a much better picture for the prevention of ALL female reproductive cancers, and for your overall health.
Ask me for details of these tests, for a better peace of mind.