Lisa Rahangdale, MD, MPH, associate professor in the Division of General Obstetrics and Gynecology, is an author on a paper from researchers at the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center that shows a non-invasive screening method for HPV-linked cervical cancer has potential to boost screening access, and warrants further research.
Assistant Professor Andrea Knittel, MD, PhD, from the same division, is also an author on the paper.
In a recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology, researchers compared urine testing to other screening methods in detecting women at risk for HPV-linked cervical cancer. While they found the urine test showed promise, additional research is needed to improve the test’s accuracy.
Rahangdale said urine testing could lower barriers to initial screening for women because it wouldn’t require a pelvic exam, and wouldn’t necessarily require a doctor’s visit.
“Having an easy, non-invasive test would allow for more opportunities for screening without a pelvic exam,” Rahangdale said.
“The study shows promise for urine HPV screening, though there is still work to be done to improve its characteristics so it is comparable to other screening methods. We have good tests already that screen for cervical cancer, but if women aren’t accessing them, they are not going to do any good. By making screening more accessible, more women can get screened, and ultimately, we can prevent more cervical cancer.”