Women's personal testimonies of cervical smear testing in the UK show that their experiences are often far from positive, says a new study from the University of Leicester published in the international journal Family Practice. The study reveals the stress, anxieties, as well as pain that women can suffer when they undergo the test, which involves taking cells from the cervix using special instruments. Women say that they are not always treated with the kindness and sensitivity that they would like. Complaining that healthcare professionals can appear detached and distanced, women say they would prefer a much more personal approach. Researchers from the Department of Health Sciences at the University of Leicester wrote the paper in collaboration with colleagues at Glasgow Caledonian University, interviewing 34 women about their experience of undergoing cervical smear tests.
According to findings of two investigations published Online First in The Lancet Oncology, the bivalent human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine (GlaxoSmithKline, Cervarix ) provides exceptional protection against the more serious immediate precursor to invasive cervical cancer (ICC). It is particularly effective in protecting young girls prior to becoming sexually active. The studies reveal that the HPV vaccine also partially protects against 4 other cancer-causing HPV types, which are not targeted by the formulation. These types, together with HPV16/18, are responsible for approximately 85% of cervical cancer globally. One of the lead researchers, Matti Lehtinen from the University of Tampere in Finland, said: "Provided that organized vaccination programs achieve high coverage in early adolescents before sexual debut, HPV vaccination has the potential to substantially reduce the incidence of cervical cancer, probably allowing modification of screening programs.
A study published in The Lancet shows how a do-it-yourself screen for cervical cancer could help prevent the disease in thousands of women who, for a number of reasons, cannot have a smear test. The test, which detects the virus responsible for cervical cancer, was widely accepted by women in the trial and was more effective than the traditional smear test at picking up the earliest signs of the disease. The DIY test has the potential to help thousands of women around the world who live in countries where smear testing is logistically impossible. It could also benefit women in richer nations who are unwilling or unable to visit a clinic. The study, which was led by Professor Attila Lorincz from Queen Mary, University of London, included over 20, 000 women in Mexico. Around half took the DIY test at home while the other half visited a clinic for a smear test.
Human Norovirus In Groundwater Remains Infective After Two Months Researchers from Emory University have discovered that norovirus in groundwater can remain infectious for at least 61 days. The research is published in the October Applied and Environmental Microbiology. Human norovirus is the most common cause of acute gastroenteritis. The disease it causes tends to be one of the more unpleasant of those that leave healthy people unscathed in the long run, with diarrhea and vomiting that typically last for 48 hours. Norovirus sickens one in 15 Americans annually, causing 70, 000 hospitalizations, and more than 500 deaths annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The results answer a question of great importance to public health, which had driven researcher Christine Moe and her colleagues to conduct this research: If well water becomes contaminated with noroviruses--perhaps from leaking sewer lines or a septic tank - how long do these noroviruses survive in water, and when would it be safe to drink from that well?
An article published Online First by The Lancet reveals that vaginal self-sampling for human papillomavirus (HPV) at home could unveil many cases of cervical cancer or precancerous lesions that could otherwise be left undiagnosed in developing countries. Self-testing could also prove to be beneficial in resource-deprived parts of high-income countries. For detecting cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN), the precursor to cervical cancer, grade 2 or worse, vaginal HPV tests are comparable or slightly more sensitive than cytology, also known as smear tests in clinic-based settings. Their effectiveness in home-settings is so far unknown. Professor Attila T Lorincz at the Centre for Cancer Prevention, Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine, Barts and The London School of Medicine, Queen Mary University of London, UK, and Professor Eduardo Lazcano-Ponce, Centre of Investigation in Population Health, National Institute of Public Health, Morelos, Mexico, and his team across Mexico decided to examine the relative sensitivity and positive predictive value for HPV screening of vaginal samples self-collected at home compared with clinic-based cervical cytology.