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Early Detection of Cervical Cancer

HPV Testing

About 75% of sexually active women will get a least one HPV infection in their lifetime. With HPV the primary cause of cervical cancer, the HPV test detects the presence of high-risk HPV strain(s).

How is the test performed?

Your healthcare provider will use a LifeLabs collection kit to take a sample of cervical cells for testing.

When will I get my results?

Results are available to your healthcare provider within two weeks.

The human papillomavirus, or HPV, is a group of over 100 related viruses which are primarily spread through sexual activity. Most adults will develop an HPV infection in their lifetime without knowing it as HPV often doesn’t have any symptoms. Frequently, the virus will clear in the same way as a common cold. High-risk HPV that doesn’t clear however is what can lead to different cancers, including cervical cancer in women.

An infection with high-risk HPV can cause cells to change or become abnormal. In the cervix, these changes can lead to a precancerous condition known as dysplasia. Dysplasia, if not treated, can lead to cervical cancer. Cervical cancer is one of the few cancers that can actually be prevented. Regular cervical screening can detect cell changes so you can prevent cervical cancer from developing.

Additional information can be found in our HPV test brochure here.

An HPV test involves your healthcare provider taking a small sample of cells from your cervix and sending them to LifeLabs for screening and testing. Here we look for the presence of HPV and then genotype it to see if the high-risk HPV commonly associated with cervical cancer is present.

While the process of obtaining the sample is similar to a Pap, the testing is different. A Pap test does not look directly for the HPV virus. A stand-alone Pap test may miss some abnormal cell growth or may not detect it early enough to prevent cervical cancer. Samples for a Pap and HPV test may be taken at the same time, but your healthcare provider must specifically order an HPV test.

If you are a woman, over the age of 30, and are sexually active, you should ask your healthcare provider about having HPV testing as part of your regular cervical screening.

Your healthcare provider may also order an HPV test to follow-up on an abnormal Pap and if you have:
  • atypical squamous cells – undetermined significance (ASC-US) and are 30 or older
  • low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (LSIL) and are 50 or older
  • been treated for high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (HSIL)

An HPV test is usually ordered as part of your cervical health screening. However, your healthcare provider may also recommend the test if you have:

  • abnormal Pap test results
  • previously been diagnosed or treated for pre-cancerous cells
  • a history of cervical cancer

Talk to your healthcare provider about getting tested for HPV as part of your routine screening.

Your healthcare provider will then take a sample as part of your Pap test, complete an HPV requisition, and send it to LifeLabs for testing.

Test results will be provided directly to your healthcare provider for discussion with you. The report will indicate whether the cells were positive or negative for high-risk HPV.

Being HPV-positive does not mean you have cervical cancer. HPV testing is the first step to measure your level of risk of developing cervical cancer and to rule out high-risk HPV infections, so it’s important to get this test done as part of your regular cervical screening.

Persistent infection with Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is the principal cause of cervical cancer and its precursor cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN). There are more than 118 different types of HPV and approximately 40 different HPVs that can infect the human anogenital mucosa. However, only a subset of these types is considered high-risk for the development of cervical cancer and its precursor lesions.

HPV testing at LifeLabs is done using Roche Cobas® HPV assay, which detects the presence of 14 high risk HPV types, and specifically identifies HPV16 and HPV18. The BD SurePath™ Pap collection devices are used to obtain the sample for Pap and HPV testing. These collection devices ensure an ideal amount of cervical cells are captured in the first collection, thereby enabling us to provide combined Pap and HPV results on the same report.

Molecular testing for HPV can be used as a follow-up to abnormal changes detected in Pap tests of women 30 to 65 years of age.

Additional information can be found in our HPV test brochure here.

Healthcare providers need to collect the sample (before colposcopy if performed) and fill out a specialized requisition form before forwarding to LifeLabs for testing.

The BD SurePath™ Pap collection devices are used to obtain the sample for Pap and HPV testing. These collection devices ensure an ideal amount of cervical cells are captured in the first collection, thereby enabling us to provide combined Pap and HPV results on the same report.

Supplies for the HPV test may be order through the healthcare provider supplies portal.

The HPV test is currently an uninsured test. The cost is:$90

Patients will be invoiced for the cost testing. Invoice payments can be made online by patients through our billing portal.

Patients are encouraged to check with their private healthcare insurer to see if coverage is provided.

Results will be available to you within two weeks.

We have a wealth of medical experts available to support you in interpreting test results.
Consults with our experts are available upon request. Request medical consultation.

Request more information

Healthcare provider needs to collect the sample (before colposcopy if performed) and fill out a specialized requisition form before forwarding to LifeLabs for testing.

The BD SurePath™ Pap collection devices are used to obtain the sample for Pap and HPV testing. These collection devices ensure an ideal amount of cervical cells are captured in the first collection, thereby enabling us to provide combined Pap and HPV results on the same report.

For collection and handling instructions, refer to the test directory , under HPV.

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