Cervical cancer with an innovative screening method: vaginal self-sampling. Details by Martin Ducret.
Martin Ducret, physician and journalist Dr. Daily, we are Today we talk about cervical cancer screening, especially vaginal autosampling.
franceinfo: Indeed, what is cervical cancer and how is it detected?
It is a cancer that arises in the part that connects the vagina to the body of the uterus and the cervix. It is secondary to a sexually transmitted infection, caused by a virus, human papillomavirus, or HPV. This infection is very common and usually heals spontaneously, but in 10% of cases, the virus persists, and precancerous lesions may develop in the cervix.
Hence the need to screen these lesions with a cervical biopsy every 3 to 5 years in women between the ages of 25 and 65. It is a painless removal of cells from the cervix with a small brush, performed by a healthcare professional. The problem is currently that 40% of French women do not get tested, due to a lack of access to care or simply for fear of going to the doctor.
Hence the idea of taking samples from the vagina for HPV! Moreover, a recent US study shows improvement in screening thanks to this self-sample?
Yes, in this study, more than 400 women received a self-sample kit at home. A solution that has nearly doubled the rate of screening participation, particularly among patients with hardest-to-access care. The results of this study support the benefits of vaginal HPV self-sampling for cervical cancer screening. Says Professor Geoffroy-Canlorbe, gynecologist at the Petit-Salpetriere in Paris and Secretary General of the French Society of Colposcopy and Pathology of the Cervix (SFCPCV). “Moreover, the Netherlands and Sweden did not wait for the results of this study. Self-deduction has already been implemented there for a few years.”
And what about France?
Self-sampling was validated a year ago by the National Cancer Institute (INCA) and the High Authority for Health (HAS). At the moment, for logistical reasons, there is still no mass self-examination campaign in which kits are sent to homes, as is the case for colon cancer. But patients can take back the self-sampling kit in the lab for a few months, and it’s reimbursed by Social Security.
I remember all the same that the ideal is to go and consult a doctor, to be examined from the age of 25. Especially since the HPV vaccination starting at the age of 11 for girls and boys remains the best method of preventing cervical cancer.