by Dr. Hsien-Hsien Lei
Posted October 22, 2007 in DNA Testing
Two recent studies have shown that the human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA test is more accurate than the traditional Pap smear for cervical cancer.
The HPV DNA test detected 95% of cases in which participants had precancerous changes in the cervix
The Pap test detected 55% of cases.
The HPV DNA test had a false positive rate of 6%
The Pap test had a false positive rate of 3%
When I first saw this news, I breathed a sigh of relief that perhaps sometime soon I would be able to skip regular pelvic exams and cervical cell sampling.
That would be wrong.
According to Lab Tests Online, the HPV DNA test still requires a sample of cells from the cervix. It is NOT a blood test. I emphasize this point because most of the news I’ve seen either got it wrong or didn’t clarify the testing procedure. For most people, DNA tests still mean a blood test even though DNA can be extracted from other samples, such as the ubiquitous cheek swab.
Currently, the HPV DNA test is used in combination with the traditional pap smear. However, recent studies have shown that HPV testing may be used alone and make it possible for women to prolong the time between exams.
One drawback to the HPV DNA test is cost; it is $90 compared to a $10 to $20 Pap test. Also, even girls vaccinated against HPV will need to be screened because there is more than one cancer causing strain not covered by the vaccine.
For more and a video news report, see CBS News.
Photo: HPV infection in squamous cells from Wellcome Images under Creative Commons
Opaldia to Offer Diagenic Breast Cancer Genetic Test...
deCODE Launches PrCa Prostate Cancer DNA Test...
What happens after a positive breast and ovarian cancer (BRCA) genetic test?...
Highlights from the MedHelp Genetics Forum: BRCA Genetic Testing...
BRCA Genetic Testing for Women Without a Family History of Breast Cancer...
Bioethicist Arthur Caplan Says Corporate Greed Drives Genetic Testing Marketplace...
10 Reasons NOT To Take a DNA Test...
Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.
Search Eye on DNA
- Genetic Genealogy on Faces of America
- DNA Network Tweet Cloud
- Genetics = Real Science
- Larry David’s DNA Test
- Lopez Tonight First Late-Night Show to Offer DNA Testing
- American Genes Don’t Exist
- Knowledge about Genetic Risk is Power or is it Fear?
- Murderer Gets Reduced Sentence Because His Genes Made Him Do It
- Video: Knome’s Ari Kiirikki Speaks with Medgadget
- DNA Toys: Ben 10 and Digimon Digivice
- 100 Facts About DNA
- Salaries for Jobs in Genetics
- Fetal Gender DNA Tests Answer Common Pregnancy Question...Or Not
- How To Determine Paternity Without A DNA Test
- What does DNA mean to you?
- Eye on DNA Interview: Dr. Tzung-Fu Hsieh of RedTracer DNA Test for the Red Hair Gene, MC1R
- Books About DNA: The Crime of Reason by Robert B. Laughlin
- Genetically Modified Organisms Bring in the Cash
- Navigenics Introduces Physician Portal and Annual Insight Service
- People Who’ve Had Their Genomes Sequenced
09/29/2009 07:03 am
- Larry David’s DNA Test
11/17/2009 02:52 am
- 23andMe DNA Tests for $399, Down From $999
09/10/2008 04:33 am
- Crazy Genetic Marketing Ideas
07/05/2008 09:14 pm
- Parenting Children Using Genetic Tests
05/18/2009 02:09 am
- Business of DNA
- DNA @ Google Answers
- DNA and Disease
- DNA and Genealogy
- DNA and the Law
- DNA Around the World
- DNA Fun
- DNA in General
- DNA Inventions and Gadgets
- DNA Lab Talk
- DNA Podcasts and Videos
- DNA Quotes and Excerpts
- DNA Testing
- Gene Therapy
- Genetic Engineering
- Genetically Modified Foods and Organisms
- Jobs Involving DNA
- Personalities with DNA
- Polls About DNA
- January 2010
- November 2009
- October 2009
- September 2009
- August 2009
- July 2009
- June 2009
- March 2009
- February 2009
- January 2009
- December 2008
- November 2008
- October 2008
- September 2008
- August 2008
- July 2008
- June 2008
- May 2008
- April 2008
- March 2008
- February 2008
- January 2008
- December 2007
- November 2007
- October 2007
- September 2007
- August 2007
- July 2007
- June 2007
- May 2007
- April 2007
- Health News Blog
- Dr. Deborah Serani
- The Science Creative Quarterly
- The Genetic Genealogist
- The Issue
- The Panda’s Thumb
- The Personal Genome
- Enoch Choi at MedHelp