By: Michelle Roberts, Health Reporter, BBC News
09 November 2010
Women would need far fewer smears if the NHS switched to a new way of screening for cervical cancer, a Cancer Research UK scientist has said.
Good uptake of the HPV vaccine that can prevent the cancer means we can now start to move away from conventional testing, said Professor Peter Sasieni.
Girls who have already had the jab would only need the new type of smear test twice in their lifetime, he said.
Unvaccinated women would halve their number of checks from 12 to six.
Professor Sasieni, a Cancer Research UK scientist at Queen Mary, University of London, has advised the NHS screening programme in the past about how to improve screening and his recommendation to change the age range of women invited for screening was adopted.