Improving the mass screening for cervical cancer

The project aims to improve the mass screening against cervical cancer by comparing and possibly replacing the current analytical method with an HPV test.
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Can the HPV test improve mass screening?

There are currently two methods, both of which are considered to be suitable for detecting cancer and precancerous lesions of the cervix; Pap test and Human papillomavirus (HPV) test.

Today's mass screening against cervical cancer uses Pap testing and microscopy to examine women's Pap smears, while the project assesses whether the HPV test can simplify and improve mass screening.

The advantage of the HPV test for the individual woman is that during her life she needs fewer doctor visits than with the Pap test. The HPV test is also considered to lead to major financial savings for society if it replaces the current analytical method.

Four counties

Half of the women who showed up for mass screening for cervical cancer in the four Norwegian counties of Hordaland, Rogaland, Nord- and Sør-Trøndelag have had their pap smears analysed with an HPV test instead of a Pap-test and microscopy.


The first part of the project has now been completed. After the results were collected and analysed, a new screening strategy for cervical cancer in Norway was decided in autumn 2017. 

The implementation of the new strategy is coordinated by the CervicalScreen Norway,  which is continuing the project of cancer screening


Hashim D, Engesæter B, Baadstrand Skare G, Castle PE, Bjørge T, Tropé A, Nygård M (2020)
Real-world data on cervical cancer risk stratification by cytology and HPV genotype to inform the management of HPV-positive women in routine cervical screening
Br J Cancer, 122(11), 1715-1723
doi 10.1038/s41416-020-0790-1, PubMed 32242098