Combined Pap and HPV cotesting have been proven to be the most effective method of discovering cervical cancer cells according to a new study conducted by Quest Diagnostics, published in the American Journal of Clinical Pathology, and reported on

The study, which involved 13.6 million women over the age of 30, tested each subject with the Pap test alone, the HPV test alone, and the combined cotest, and found that the cotest discovered 95.6% of precancers, compared to only 92.6% and 77.9% for the HPV test and the Pap test respectively.

The study is an important advancement in cervical cancer prevention as it was administered using the most broad and diverse group of subjects for such a study to date.

“Screening guidelines for a condition as serious as [cervical cancer] should be developed based on the most rigorous longitudinal assessment of current technologies applied to a large, heterogeneous, geographically distributed, and socioeconomically diverse population as possible, as such factors represent the conditions under which most care is provided throughout the United States,” wrote Dr. Harvey Kaufman, senior director of medical informatics at Quest, in the study results.

Read more about the value of the Pap and HPV cotest and other outcomes of the new Quest study here.