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Longer screening intervals are recommended following a negative HPV test in primary cervical screening
  1. Julian Peto,
  2. Clare Gilham
  1. London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Prof Julian Peto, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health, Keppel Street, London WC1E 7HT, UK; julian.peto{at}lshtm.ac.uk

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Commentary on: Dijkstra MG, van Zummeren M, Rozendaal L, et al. Safety of extending screening intervals beyond five years in cervical screening programmes with testing for high-risk human papillomavirus: 14-year follow-up of population-based randomised cohort in the Netherlands. BMJ 2016;355:i4924.

Context

The cervical screening programmes in the UK and the Netherlands are replacing cytology by human papillomavirus (HPV) testing. In the Netherlands, women will be screened routinely at ages 30, 35, 40, 50 and 60 years. In the UK, a decision on screening frequency has yet to be made by the National Screening Committee. Currently British women are screened with cytology every 3 years at ages 25–49 and every 5 years at ages 50–64. Pooled results of four randomised controlled trials in Europe showed that HPV testing reduces cervical cancer risk.1 The British ARTISTIC trial2 and several other studies have also …

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