These days most women know that they should go to their doctor about once a year and have a test done, known as a pap smear, that is used to identify the possible onset of cervical cancer. This test should be d one every year from the moment she becomes sexually active, and it consists of smearing a biological sample from the woman's cervix onto a growth medium to see if there are any cancerous cells.
"Pap smears check for cell changes caused by the cancer, but it is not foolproof. That's why it's done every year because it can miss some cell changes, which it might pick up the next year.
There are many reports of Pap smears not detecting abnormal cells until it's too late and the cancer is advanced. The DNA test, on the other hand, tests for the actual virus, which makes it much more effective as a test for cervical cancer because we now know that all cervical cancer is caused by this virus." - 'Good Morning America' medical contributor Dr. Marie SavardCervical Cancer kills about 4,000 women a year in the US, however the incidence rate is much much higher.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation funded an 8 year study that has categorically shown the greater effectiveness of this method.