London - Offering women DIY smear tests significantly boosts the number who undergo cervical cancer screening, a study shows.
Results from a trial of 20 000 women found that more than a quarter of those who usually missed their screening appointments took part when they were sent home-testing kits.
This represented a 50 percent increase in uptake compared with women who were only sent letters reminding them to go to a clinic for cervical screening.
The US trial comes after British scientists this week unveiled an accurate DNA urine test that women could use in their own home to test for the disease. The two announcements put pressure on health authorities in the UK to fast-track the introduction of "self-sample" tests for cervical cancer.
Screening for the disease in Britain has fallen to an all-time low – with nearly five million women currently overdue for testing.