Quebec says it will start using human papillomavirus tests as its primary screening tool for cervical cancer, replacing the Pap smear.
The Health Department says the province will systematically offer HPV testing for cervical cancer screening to all women aged 25 to 65, every five years.
A government health-care research institute said in a January report that the HPV test is more sensitive than a Pap smear and could allow patients to collect their own test samples.
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The Institut national d’excellence en santé et en services sociaux says that almost all cases of cervical cancer are caused by HPV.
The Health Department says it’s currently up to doctors to recommend Pap smears during routine medical visits and that the tests are not administered with any regularity across the province.
Around one in 168 Canadian women will develop cervical cancer.