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Cervical cancer test approved for NHS use

3rd April 2012

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has approved a new colposcopy system which is "less costly and more effective" than the current one.

cervical cancer

NICE said the new DySIS system improved the possibility of identifying abnormal cells from 50% to 88%.

Around 2,500 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer every year and it causes 900 deaths annually.

Cancer Research UK has estimated that the NHS cervical screening programme saves 4,500 people annually. 

Women who have an NHS smear test which gives an abnormal result are asked to have a colposcopy. Around 142,000 women have the procedure every year.

The colposcopy aims to identify abnormal cells but has been criticised by some doctors as not being effective enough.

Robert Music, the director of Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust, said: "If the process of looking for cervical abnormalities is made more sensitive, this could reduce the number of additional treatments for the patient which are known to cause stress and anxiety."

The new test should mean that abnormal cells are found earlier and can be treated more easily and more cheaply.

 

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