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Virus Level could Predict Cervical Cancer Risk,,

Cervical cancer is one of the most common cancers in women. If it is caught and treated early, it is curable in most cases.// The Pap smear is the standard screening method for the disease. It is used to detect unusual, precancerous changes in cervical cells. Two strains of the human papilloma virus (HPV) are associated with an increased chance of getting the cancer, but not all women who test positive, develop the disease. Swedish researchers say that measuring the levels of a virus linked to cervical cancer could help to identify women at risk from the disease long before it develops or is detected with conventional screening. New research published in The Lancet medical journal suggests that the amount of one strain of the virus, called HPV-16, could be a more accurate predictor of the disease. 'High amounts of HPV 16 DNA is a major risk factor for development of cervical carcinoma (cancer),' said Agnetha Josefsson and scientists at the University of Uppsala. Dr Peter Sasieni, of Britain's Imperial Cancer Research Fund, said the research underlined the key role that HPV infection plays in the development of cervical cancer. He said, 'The results show that women with low levels of infection are at extremely low risk of developing cervical cancer within 10 years, the implications are that women with low levels of the virus could be safely monitored by regular repeat testing, rather than being referred directly to a gynecologist,'

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