The end of pap smears?

Today’s New York Times shared a remarkable study reported in the New England Journal of Medicine showing that DNA tests outperform pap smears in the identification of cancerous cells.  On top of that, the DNA test is considered reliable for years and has results within hours. This could obsolete the pap smear test altogether.

This research was funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, as was the drug company who has created a $5 test – a price that would only go down with demand and means the possibility for greater prevention in third world countries where preventive medicine is accessed less frequently.  This is exciting news in women’s health!