What is a smear?

It is a test to catch cervical cancer early. Cells poured from the cervix into the vagina are transferred to a thin glass with a brush and examined under a microscope. In this way, an idea about the cervix is obtained.

What is the HPV test?

It is well known that cervical cancer is caused by the HPV virus. The DNA of the HPV virus can be detected in the vagina. High-risk patients are therefore referred for additional tests.

The HPV DNA test is taken during a smear. It can be done during a normal gynecological examination. The sample is sent to the laboratory in a different container than the smear container.

At what intervals should the test be performed? Which test should be preferred?

Compared to a smear, the HPV DNA test more accurately determines the likelihood of developing cancer. Therefore, the HPV DNA test is considered more reliable. It is sufficient to take a sample every 5 years for follow-up with a smear and every 3 years for follow-up with HPV DNA.

How are the results evaluated?

HPV DNA and smear tests are screening tests. In other words, these tests do not decide on the treatment of the patient. They show the physician which patients are at high risk. The physician evaluates high-risk patients with colposcopy and takes a biopsy. According to the biopsy result, it is decided how to continue the treatment.

A surgical procedure such as cervical shaving or hysterectomy should not be decided based on smear and HPV results.