HEALTH chiefs on the Isle of Wight have welcomed a new cervical screening test, aimed at reducing the risk of women developing cancer.
The new test, known as the HPV test, detects the Human Papilloma Virus in samples taken during a cervical screening.
There are more than 100 types of HPV and, although many are harmless, some are associated with the development of cervical cancer.
If HPV is found, it means women can be referred for treatment sooner.
Dr Jenifer Smith, director of public health for the Isle of Wight, said: "The main benefit to introducing this additional testing of selected screening samples is that we can intervene sooner where women are at high risk of developing cervical cancer whilst reducing anxiety generated by repeated testing of those for whom this is not necessary."
The test will be rolled out across the country throughout 2012.
Further information can be found at www.cancerscreening.nhs.uk