HPV test recommended as primary test in cervical cancer screening hinh anh 1Cancer screening at a reproductive health centre in central Da Nang (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) - More than 500 doctors and health officials participated in a series of recent seminars on updates on national guidelines on cervical cancer screening.

“Cervical cancer is a serious disease, but we can prevent it, reduce the mortality and medical burden for patients, their family and society if the disease can be detected early,” Assoc Prof Luu Thi Hong, general secretary of the Vietnam Association of Gynecologists and Obstetrics, said.

The Ministry of Health has issued a recommendation to use HPV as the primary screening test for cervical cancer to help women prevent the disease and have an entire healthy and happy life, she said.

“It is also a mission of healthcare authorities, healthcare organisations and whole community.”

In response to a national action plan for cervical cancer prevention and control in 2016-25, Roche Vietnam in collaboration with medical organisations and local and international healthcare experts organised the seminars on “HPV DNA primary testing: From recommendations to clinical practice” from June 15 to 17 in Hanoi, Da Nang, and HCM City.

Cervical cancer can be prevented if detected early, and HPV testing reveals in the early stages if someone is at risk.

According to the guidelines issued by the ministry, HPV testing has been recommended as a primary test in cervical cancer screening since 2016.

An HPV test can detect high-risk HPV and help doctors evaluate whether a woman is at risk of cervical cancer so that she can be monitored and treated appropriately and in time.

It is estimated that around 500,000 women world-wide are diagnosed with the disease every year and half of them die, with the vast majority of deaths occurring in developing countries.

In Vietnam, there are more than 5,000 new cases of cervical cancer annually and more than 2,500 deaths.

Cervical cancer is the second most common gynaecological cancer and a main reason is due to persistent infection by the human papilloma virus (HPV).

There are over a hundred different HPV types. Of them, 14 are considered to be high risk, causing more than 99 percent of cervical cancers. And two of them posing the highest risk are HPV 16 and HPV 18, which cause more than 70 percent of cervical cancers.

Women infected with HPV 16 and/or HPV 18 have a 35 percent higher risk of developing cervical cancer.-VNA