Using a breakthrough technology, a home-testing kit for cervical cancer has now been developed by a Norwegian company in collaboration with DrThom, an online service. This kit was developed keeping in mind those one in five women who are either too busy or too embarrassed to make it for a hospital screening.
Cervical cancer is the second most common form of the condition in women under 35. Cervical cancer rates are on the rise and about 2500 women are affected by the cancer in UK alone, with a whopping 950 recorded fatalities. The growing awareness for breast cancer has led to more and more women being vigilant and checking for lumps or undergoing mammography when necessary. However, the mounting numbers of cervical cancer cases has not helped women overcome the stigma associated with discussing worrying symptoms found ‘down below’.
The DIY kits come in the form of tampons that when inserted for one hour, scrape cells from the neck of the womb. The test looks for genetic material produced by cells infected with those types of the human papilloma virus known to cause cervical cancer.
Consultant gynaecologist Nick Wales, of Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, said: “We successfully used it with women unable to tolerate a vaginal examination. I believe within 10 years all cervical screening will be done this way. It is an invaluable addition to the detection of pre-cancerous changes of the cervix.”
Recently, a study in the British Medical Journal said such home testing kits could double the number diagnosed and such an early spotting would help save lives.