HPV test doubles the chance of finding precursors to cervical cancer

HPV tests
Part of an HPV test kit. Photo: Frank Bienewald/LightRocket via Getty Images

Testing for the human papillomavirus (HPV) offers women twice the chance of catching indicators of cervical cancer than traditional Pap tests do — and requires less frequent testing too, according to a large study published in JAMA Tuesday.

Why it matters: Cervical cancer, which is the fourth most common cause of cancer in women globally, is expected to kill roughly 4,170 American women and be diagnosed in 13,200 Americans this year alone.