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HPV Testing for Primary Cervical Cancer Screening

Published on: April 17, 2018
Project Number: OP0530-000
Product Line: Optimal Use
Result type: Report
Expected Completion Date: March 21, 2019

The majority of sexually active women will acquire a human papillomavirus (HPV) infection in their lifetime, and an estimated 10% of these infections can develop into cervical cancer. Women in all Canadian jurisdictions have access to cervical cancer screening using the cytology-based Papanicolaou (Pap) test. While implementation of the Pap test during the last few decades in Canada has contributed to a significant reduction in cervical cancer incidence and mortality, low sensitivity is a known limitation of this test. The available evidence suggests that HPV testing may perform better than Pap cytology in cervical cancer screening. Several jurisdictions, therefore, are considering, planning or piloting HPV primary screening programs.

CADTH is undertaking an Optimal Use project to assess the clinical and cost-effectiveness, safety, and patient experiences of HPV testing for primary cervical cancer screening. Ethical and implementation issues, as well as  potential impact on the environmental will also be addressed.

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