Pap test no longer gold standard to detect cervical cancer

March 15, 2014 6:11:27 AM PDT
The Pap test has been the gold standard for detecting cervical cancer for 60 years, but it will no longer be in the first line of defense.

An FDA advisory panel has recommended a new test become the first line of defense in screening for cervical cancer.

The new test detects the DNA of the human papilloma virus, or HPV.

HPV is the cause of more than 99 percent of all cervical cancers.

This move does not mean the Pap test is going away, but in most cases, patients who do not have HPV are less likely to need the Pap.

The new test is made by the pharmaceutical company Roche.