Engand's National Health Service (NHS) is declaring war on cervical cancer with a goal of eliminating it through vaccines and better screening for the HPV virus that causes most of the world's cases.

"Screening is one of the most effective ways of protecting against cervical cancer and there is no doubt this new way of testing will save lives.  It is vitally important that all eligible people attend for their screening appointments, to keep themselves safe," said Professor Peter Johnson, the national clinical director for cancer.  "Combined with the success of the HPV vaccine for both boys and girls, we hope that cervical cancer can be eliminated altogether by the NHS in England. The chances of surviving cancer are at a record high, but there is always more we can do, as we continue to deliver our long-terms plan."

Cervical cancer kills 850 women a year in the UK. The vaccine given to girls from the age of 12 is known to be very effective against HPV infection.  From the beginning of December, routine screening has been reoriented to test primarily for the virus.  Only women who have HPV will have their smear sample checked for abnormal cells that are the precursor of cervical cancer.