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Urine test to end 'smear fear'

Women who are too anxious or embarrassed to go for a smear test could instead provide a urine sample to be screened for cervical cancer, research suggests.

A trial found urine testing was as good at detecting a virus called HPV that is a big risk factor for the cancer. Bigger trials are still needed but experts said self-testing could be a game-changer for women.

The number of people going for smear tests is lower than ever in the UK. NHS figures show attendance is now down to 71%, meaning several million women across England have not had a smear test for at least three and a half years.