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Cervical cancer screening by Papanicolaou (Pap) smear has shown its use in reducing both incidence and mortality. Nowadays, cervical tumours are mostly diagnosed in women who were not, or not properly, screened. The invasive sampling method of screening is one of the reasons why women do not participate. The efficiency of cervical cancer screening could be increased if a less invasive test were available. Today, there is extensive scientific evidence that infection with high risk human papillomavirus (HPV) is associated with the development of cervical cancer. An international survey of more than 1000 cervical cancers showed that HPV DNA was present in 93% of all tumours. …
This study was financed in part by a research grant of the Fund for Scientific Research—Flanders (Belgium) to JBV.