A digital video colposcopy training center and cervical cancer screening program will be inaugurated Thursday at the Government Kasturba Gandhi Hospital (KGH) at Chennai, capital of Tamil Nadu.
Colposcopy is a diagnostic tool to determine the cause of abnormalities found in Pap smears.
Pap smear is collection of cells from the cervix for examination under a microscope. It is named after George Papanicolaou an American anatomist. It is used to detect changes that may be cancer or may lead to cancer. It can show non-cancerous conditions too, such as infection or inflammation.
Colposcopy takes the process further. It is a visual examination of the cervix--a relatively simple and painless procedure.
The physician focuses on the areas where no light passes through. Abnormal cervical changes and also abnormal blood vessel changes could be detected through cloposcope.
The enlarged view provided by the colposcope allows the colposcopist to visually distinguish normal from abnormal appearing tissue and take directed biopsies for further pathological examination. And this is very useful in early detection and prevention of cervical cancer.
The procedure is currently available at the Institute of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the KGH at present. Soon it will be introduced in all medical college hospitals in the state and later in the district hospitals. Select primary health centers will also be given the equipment, it has been stated.
The screening methods are simple enough for a village health nurse to adopt, officials say.
Under the `varumun kappom' (preventive healthcare) scheme of the state government, the KGH has screened 17,092 women of whom 1,000 were identified for further evaluation.
In Chennai the incidence of cervical cancer is 43 per a population of one hundred thousand.