They will receive their result in the post, and if HPV is detected they will be contacted for a follow-up appointment.
Dr Anita Lim, from King’s College London – who is leading the study, said: “Self-sampling is a game-changer for cervical screening.
“We know many women aren’t coming forward for screening and almost half of women in some parts of London aren’t up to date with their cervical screening.
“It’s an intimate procedure and a variety of barriers can stop people from attending, even though it can be a life-saving test.
“This simple and convenient swab means it can be done in the privacy and comfort of your own home.
“Women who don’t come for regular screening are at the highest risk of developing cervical cancer, so it is crucial that we find ways like this to make screening easier and protect women from what is a largely preventable cancer.”
Ruth Stubbs, National Cervical Screening Programme manager at PHE, said: “This YouScreen study is the first step in getting closer to HPV self-sampling at home for women across England.
“PHE is also working on a clinical validation study to inform a larger national evaluation of HPV self-sampling at home.
“This work together with the findings from the YouScreen London study, will provide data from England to inform the UK National Screening Committee on the potential impact of offering HPV self-sampling on the prevention and early detection of cervical cancer. ”
Kate Sanger, from Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, said: “Self-sampling removes so many of the challenges to cervical screening and through our research we know it is very much wanted by women. It has been fantastic to be part of this study and we hope it leads to change that will save lives and the trauma a cervical cancer diagnosis can bring.”
The YouScreen study will run until December 2021.
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