Panel Recommends HPV Test as Replacement for Pap
Experts voted 13-0 that Roche's test was safe and effective as first step in cervical cancer screening
Whether doctors will accept using an HPV test first instead of a Pap test will depend upon the clinical trial data supporting it and on doctors and patients being educated about it, Menzin believes.
He noted that current guidelines still favor using the Pap test first, "but the guidelines continue to evolve."
Although screening for cervical cancer is vital, it is not the only reason women should have a gynecological exam, Menzin added.
"Women should follow the current guidelines and have routine gynecological examinations," he said. "Gynecological care is more than cervical cancer screening."
There are two approved vaccines, Gardasil and Cervarix, that can protect against HPV. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that all young girls and boys be vaccinated beginning at ages 9 to 11.