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Onsite colposcopy clinic improves cancer screening rates: Study
Date:8/12/2013

TORONTO, ON, August 12, 2013 Women who had a colposcopy at a sexual health clinic that provided extra support and counselling were 34 per cent more likely to undergo the cancer screening procedure compared to women who were referred to a hospital or doctor's office, according to a new study by Women's College Hospital's Dr. Sheila Dunn.

Although colposcopy is an important component of cervical cancer screening, some women, particularly those who are disadvantaged, fail to attend colposcopy appointments. However, researchers in the study, published today in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Canada, found that providing intensive nurse counselling and support with the procedure at the same clinic where a woman has her Pap test, improves uptake and eliminates barriers to cancer detection.

"A colposcopy is extremely important followup for women who have abnormal Pap smears because it prevents pre-malignant lesions from developing into cancer," says the study's lead author and family doctor at WCH Dr. Dunn. "However, we know from research women fail to have the procedure because of various barriers, including not understanding its importance, high anxiety around the procedure, and lack of available childcare services, time, or transportation to and from the clinic."

Colposcopy is a procedure that examines a woman's cervix to detect precancerous changes and early cancers when they are easier to manage. A doctor usually recommends a colposcopy after certain abnormal Pap results. However, research suggests that a significant number of women do not go on to have this procedure despite referral from a doctor.

As part of the study, the researchers established an onsite colposcopy service within a sexual health clinic in downtown Toronto specifically to address the needs of women who required extra support. The clinic is staffed by a family doctor and a nurse who educates women about their abnormal results and the proc
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Contact: Julie Saccone
Julie.Saccone@wchospital.ca
416-323-6400 x4054
Women's College Hospital
Source:Eurekalert

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