Northern Ireland is urged to adopt HPV testing for cervical cancer

Holding a cervical screening tool is a nurse

the principal investigator of the cervical examination in the Republic of Ireland. screening squabble. has criticized Northern Ireland for not implementing HPV (human papillomavirus) testing, calling it terrible.

The majority of cervical cancers are caused by HPV.

The Republic of Ireland has adopted the HPV screening test, as has the rest of the UK.

There is "no excuse," according to Dr. Gabriel Scally, for Northern Ireland to be "lagging behind.".

Cell (cytological) tests have been replaced by HPV testing in England, Scotland, and Wales, but not in Northern Ireland yet.

Although Stormont's Department of Health has committed to using this testing method, what will happen next is uncertain in the absence of an executive and funding assurances.

Prior to the development of the HPV test, labs were limited to searching for suspicious cells in smear samples that suggested cancer might already be present or might develop soon.

The onset of abnormal cell development precedes an HPV infection.

Dr. Scally stated on BBC News NI's Good Morning Ulster that "England, Scotland, Wales, and the Republic of Ireland all use a new test, a much more accurate test, a test that actually detects the presence of the virus.".

Prof Gabriel Scally
There is no justification, according to Prof. Gabriel Scally, for Northern Ireland's lag.

He continued, "If a woman doesn't have the virus, it is very unlikely that she will have a potential cervical cancer problem.".

The first thing that is done with the sample that is taken from the woman is to have it tested for the virus, according to the screening services in other parts of Britain and Ireland.

"Screening is never 100% accurate, there are some missed cases, but the HPV test, the primary screening test, dramatically reduces that by about 50% to 60%, and that's really important to lowering the overall rate of cervical cancer among women," says the researcher.

"At the moment, Northern Ireland's testing system still relies almost entirely on people looking through a microscope, which requires them to make difficult decisions quickly. The test is much better.

There can be no justification for the delay, as it will result in more missed abnormalities, which increases the risk of cancer developing. It is abhorrent that the test hasn't been implemented in Northern Ireland. ".

According to Dr. Scally, Northern Ireland should take action to end cervical cancer.

"The two routes to eradicating cervical cancer are HPV testing and HPV vaccination for all young people and getting that level of vaccination up as high as possible, and that's what the Republic of Ireland has set as their goal.

They are putting in a lot of effort. ".

According to a story published by BBC News NI last week, a woman who was recently diagnosed with cervical cancer discovered that three prior abnormal smear tests had gone unnoticed.

A test in 2019 found cancerous cells, necessitating a radical hysterectomy for Susan (not her real name).

The 45-year-old woman expressed her shock and outrage over the misreading of earlier tests as well as her devastation at the diagnosis.

The Southern and Western health trusts in Northern Ireland, which were in charge of Susan's care, have expressed regret.

The Southern Health Trust (SHT) is starting a review or risk assessment, which will be completed by the Royal College of Pathology, according to BBC News NI after hearing Susan's story.

The review, which could have an impact on hundreds of women, is anticipated to take 10 weeks to complete.

In order to determine whether there was a higher likelihood of missing abnormalities in screening samples in the trust between 2019 and 2021, this study will make several assumptions.

"Work involving a number of screening staff will be examined as part of the risk assessment," the SHT has confirmed.

By locating and treating abnormalities that, if left untreated, could turn into cancer, it aims to prevent cervical cancer.

However, screening does not serve as a diagnostic tool for cancer and cannot detect every instance of cancer or pre-cancer.

Women in Northern Ireland between the ages of 25 and 64 can get screened.

You can get in touch with if any of the problems in this tale have impacted you. Action Line at BBC. for assistance

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