Human papillomaviruses (HPV) are a family of viruses that attack the skin and / or mucous membranes. Among this family, a dozen viruses (HPV 16, 18, 31, 33, 35, 39, 45 …) can be responsible for cancer of the cervix: transmission is mainly by sexual route, during a penetration, a kiss or an oral-genital act – fellatio, cunnilingus …
Papillomaviruses are not uncommon. About 80% of women encounter the papillomavirus at the start of their sexual life. It is a banal infection, which disappears spontaneously, but it happens nevertheless that in about 5% of cases, this virus causes genital lesions, which can progress to cancer. In France, 3,000 women develop cervical cancer each year and 1,100 die from it.
The HPV test is fast, reliable and fully reimbursed
From the age of 30 and every 3 years, screening for cervical cancer is therefore recommended in women. The objective of screening is on the one hand to identify and treat precancerous lesions before they develop into cancer and, on the other hand, to detect cancers at an early stage, the prognosis of which is much better than an advanced stage. let’s remember that even vaccinated against papillomavirus, this examination is essential.
Formerly carried out via a smear, it is now (in accordance with the recommendations of the health authorities) an “HPV test” which consists of a sample of cells, carried out by the gynecologist.
“Concretely, the doctor passes a small brush on the cervix vaginally then the sample is sent to the laboratory for analysis: for the patient, it is almost like a smear“, underlines the French Society of Colposcopy and Cervico-Vaginal Pathology (SFCPCV).
Main interest, these tests are more reliable. Another advantage, if they are negative, they make it possible to space out checks every five years, against three years previously.
Good news : since March 24, 2020, the HPV test is fully reimbursed by Social Security. Until now, to benefit from this medical act, it was necessary to pay between 30 and 35 euros – a price that was not necessarily affordable for all patients. “The reimbursement of the HPV test will allow all women to benefit from optimal screening, which until now was reserved for those who could afford it.“notes the SFCPCV.
How about making an appointment with the gynecologist?
Source: press release SFCPCV
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