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New home test for cervical cancer developed by London student


A new test that can help detect cervical cancer by identifying HPV strains in menstrual blood has been developed by a London student.
The device, named Papcup, could potentially replace painful smear tests and provides results in just 15 minutes.

The test was developed by Sânziana Foia, a postgraduate bioengineering student at Imperial College London.

Traditional smear tests involve an uncomfortable and invasive cervical swab in a clinic, which puts many women off having a test.

Papcup works by looking for signs of cancer-causing HPV by analysing a small swab of blood that women can take at home.

The device contains a bio-sensor that picks up how much HPV there is in the sample.
A prototype for the device has been developed and Ms Foia hopes to begin clinical trials soon.

Around a third of women in the UK miss their smear tests each year due to concerns ranging from pain and embarrassment to fear, according to NHS data.

Health experts say that diagnosing cancer-causing HPV strains at an early age could help to save lives.

London has the lowest rate for cervical cancer screening in England, with less than two-thirds (62.6 per cent) of women in the capital up to date with their screening for 2021/22 – well below the NHS target of 80 per cent.

HPV refers to a group of viruses which can be transmitted through sexual contact but do not cause problems in most people.
Evidence shows that around 13 high-risk types of HPV cause 99.7 per cent of cervical cancers.