The majority of women in Kenya may no longer need the annual pap smear or visual inspection procedures to check for cervical cancer thanks to a new advanced screening technology which has been introduced in the country.

The new technology, dubbed Cobas, tests for the presence of the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) in the cervix and cervico-vaginal canal, and gives a clear indication of a woman’s risk of developing this type of cancer.

The Cobas HPV test specifically identifies 14 different high-risk strains of the virus which are linked directly to cervical cancer, including the Type 16 and Type 18 strains which cause more than 70 per cent of cases of the disease.

“Research finding for Cobas HPV tests confirm that women who are found to be free of the virus don’t have to go through pap smears or visual inspections to check for abnormalities in the tissues of the cervix that may indicate cervical cancer. Their risk of getting the disease is low,” says Dr Ahmed Kalebi, the Group Managing Director and chief executive officer of Pathologists Lancet Labs, which is introducing the new technology in Kenya.

“With the entry of Cobas HPV test, only a small fraction of Kenyan women, say between seven and 15 per cent, will still need pap smears or visual inspection. This is the group which has the virus and have higher risks of getting cervical cancer and need monitoring.”

Source: Nam News Network