September is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month and we wanted to inform South African women about a new test that you can do in the comfort of your home …
Called the UDoHPVTest™ (pronounced ‘You-do’), it can detect high levels of the Human Papillovirus (HPV) – the virus that causes cervical cancer.
Some medical aids such as Fedhealth pay for the test from medical aid savings.
Here’s interview with the MD of UDoTest, Allison Martin, to find out more:
What are SA’s cervical cancer stats like compared to the rest of the world?
High and scary: 10 women a day are dying from cervical cancer – it’s the deadliest cancer amongst women in our country because of the lack of a formal screening and vaccination programme.
In 2010 the National Cancer Registrar estimated that there are 15 reported cases of cervical cancer diagnosed a day. Cervical cancer is mainly asymptomatic, meaning there are not many symptoms, so women are not prompted to screen either.
How does the test work?
The UDoHPVTest™ is a vaginal swab based test which you can do at home yourself. Once you have registered online you will be sent an instruction leaflet, a uniquely bar-coded clear bag, a discreet bag, the Evalyn sampling brush and a UDoTest lab form.
Doing the test is easy and takes less than 30 seconds!
Login online and tell us where to collect your sample from and then receive feedback from the lab in your inbox within 10 days. We also provide counselling and support should you need it.
What’s the difference between a Pap smear and the UDoHPVTest™?
The UDoHPVTest™ gives women a more accurate reading for presence of the Human papillomavirus (HPV) than a traditional Pap smear: it offers 85-95 % specificity whereas a Pap smear is only 54-70 %.
A traditional Pap smear done by a gynaecologist involves a speculum to open the vaginal canal for the collection of cells, which are then analysed by a clinical pathologist. UDoTest’s HPV test is self-collected and doesn’t involve the use of a speculum.
Your website says the test is only suitable for women over a certain age – why is that?
The HPV virus is more stable in older women because younger women have a higher chance of their immune systems fighting it off. It’s the stable, persistent infection of HPV high-risk strains that one needs to detect and manage. Women under the age of 25 should therefore still continue with their Pap smears.
We understand this is a product available globally. How long has it been available in SA?
It’s been available in SA for three years. However it was only in December 2015 that the South Africa Society of Obstetrics and Gynaecologists (SASOG) published the fact that South African women need to switch over to Primary HPV testing before the Pap smear, because it is a far more accurate test.
We were also recently nominated and made the top five, for a global award in San Francisco for our HPV product – out of 70 companies worldwide. We primarily sell online, at corporate wellness days, with Dis-Chem pharmacy nurses and some doctors’ rooms.