Ditching conventional smear test screening in favour of a five-yearly human papilloma virus (HPV) check-up could save hundreds of lives from cervical cancer, a new trial suggests.
At present, 2,500 women in England are told they have cervical cancer each year but experts say a more accurate test would slash this figure by 400 to 500 cases.
The new way of testing was found to be much more accurate than current smear tests in picking up abnormal changes to cells that could lead to cervical cancer.
It means that women who are known to be low-risk could safely have cervical screening every five years rather than the current three, the study found.
The research, published in the British Medical Journal…