A HOME cervical cancer test developed at Sydney University may eventually eliminate the need for smears to be taken by a doctor or nurse, a report in Nursing Times says. The test enables women to take their own samples from the cervix at home, using a simple vaginal wash. The sample is posted to a laboratory where it is tested for strains of the human papilloma virus (HPV), known to be the major cause of cervical cancer. In a trial of 100 women, the new test picked up 25 per cent more cases of HPV than the conventional smear test.