Four in every five people are exposed to the Human Papilloma Virus at some point in their lives. It is a sexually transmitted virus that can cause infection. For some women it can create abnormalities in the cells of the cervix. If these abnormalities become severe they can develop into cancer cells. 99.7% of cervical cancers are caused by HPV.
In most cases the body’s immune system deals effectively with the virus and you may not even be aware that you have had it. In a small percentage of women the virus can remain dormant in their body and infection may become persistent.
Cervical screening and HPV vaccination help to protect women against cervical cancer. If abnormal cells are detected during cervical screening (a smear test) it doesn’t necessarily mean you will get cancer, but over a period of time these abnormal cells can progress to CIN 2 and 3 – referred to as pre-cancerous cells.
Treatment of pre-cancerous cells is generally very successful, preventing cancer cells from developing. If they are left untreated, these pre-cancerous cells will go on to develop into cervical cancer cells. At this stage, treatment options are more aggressive and may involve chemo and radiotherapy.
Certain forms of the HPV virus are more dangerous than others. There are 13 high risk forms of the virus, three of which are responsible for 70% of all cervical cancers.
Screening identifies women who have a high risk HPV which can increase their chances of developing abnormal cells in the cervix. If the screening shows you are at risk, as a member of Foresight Medical Centre, we would monitor you closely for any abnormal cells in your cervix.
Home testing through Foresight Medical
Self-collection kits now allow women to test for HPV without having to visit the doctor for a smear test.
It is only available to women, but these accurate kits are easy to use and we will provide results to you within just 6 days.
The tests are similar to the pregnancy tester kits that are now used routinely by women. Unlike that type of kit, however, HPV test kits do not provide instant results that can be read at home. Instead, the test has to be sent off in a prepaid envelope for analysis in an approved laboratory.
Here’s how it works:
- Wash your hands and remove the kit from its packaging.
- The test device looks similar to a pregnancy test kit. It has a foil cap at the tip which needs to be removed.
- Insert the kit carefully into the vagina as far as possible. When fully inserted, press the white button at one end of the device. Count to 3 and then release the button.
- This will collect a sample of fluid from around the cervix. You then release this into the collection tube, place the tube into a pre-addressed envelope and post it off to the lab for analysis.
- You will receive the results from us within 6 days and guidance about what to do next.
1) Why is this test only for women?
Although the human papilloma virus can affect men and women it only causes cervical cancer in women, hence why this test is only for women.
2) Private GP Costs
If you would like prompt results to your test, consider using a private GP. At Foresight Medical Centre we offer the convenience of HPV home testing, at £70.
3) Can everyone have access to this service?
This service is available only to members of Foresight Medical centre. Find out about our membership options.
A visit to our Harley Street centre helps you to take a preventive approach to your health and the health of your family.
Our centre is open from 8:30am – 5:00pm, Monday to Friday.
Telephone: 0207 935 7501