A mail in kit improves screening for cervical cancer, Elizabeth Tracey reports


When a kit to screen themselves at home for cervical cancer by detecting human papilloma virus was given to women, it improved screening rates, a new study shows. Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center director William Nelson explains the study.

Nelson: You can definitely do HPV testing as a sort of a cancer screening better in some ways than Pap smears. So this was a study done by the Kaiser Permanente folks in Washington state. They had almost 32,000 women aged 30-64. They randomized them to three different approaches: one, usual care. The second was usual care plus educational materials, which means you would have to opt in to screening, and you would get screened or not. And the other was usual care, plus the educational materials, plus they would mail  you a self-sampling kit.   :33

Women who got the self-sampling kit were more likely to be screened than women who had to ask for a kit to be mailed to them, the study found. Nelson welcomes strategies such as this that reduce barriers to screening. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.