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The recent increase in the frequency of cervical smears for women aged 25-48 will have 'major benefits' and further reduce the incidence of cervical cancer, a new study shows.

Use of HPV testing would also bring down the lifetime risk of the disease, according to researchers from the Cancer Research UK epidemiology unit at the University of

Oxford.

The study modelled the progression from HPV infection to invasive cancer, in order to assess the impact of the recent and proposed changes to cervical screening.

Reducing the screening interval from five to three years, as announced last year, will cut a woman's lifetime risk of

cervical cancer by a further

18 per cent, the study found.

And increasing sensitivity of HPV testing could reduce the incidence of cervical cancer by an additional 27 per cent, it added.

The study is published in the British Journal of Cancer (August).

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