Objective: Cervical cancer contributes to a significant number of cancer cases every year specially in the developing countries. With the COVID-19 pandemic, screening services were paused for long periods. Innovative tests and healthcare delivery can help restart screening services to reach the goal set by WHO to eliminate cervical cancer.
Methods: Women visiting the outpatient department were sent to a dedicated facility for screening. Screening was done using a traditional Pap smear followed by a ready-to-use VIA test Kit. Biopsy was completed if VIA was positive or if indicated by PAP smear.
Results: The majority of the patients in the study were between 31-40 years of age. Vaginal discharge was the most common presenting complaint. In the study, accuracy of VIA was 91%.
Conclusion: Screening services were offered in a hospital to maintain social distance. The VIA Kit was helpful as the necessary items were readily available in order to conduct the test faster. It reduced the exposure time in the hospital. In addition, adopting VIA as a screening procedure helped reduce hospital visits for women by providing instant results and decisions about next steps.
Introduction: Cervical cancer contributes to a considerable toll of deaths in the developing countries despite the availability of screening procedures. Screening forms the cornerstone for reducing the burden of cervical cancer. Improvisations in the screening procedures to further lessen the morbidity and mortality associated with cervical cancer play a vital role in reaching the goal.
Objective: To evaluate the combined use of Pap smear and VIA-based screening of cervical cancer in a tertiary care hospital using a newly-designed VIA kit. Also, to evaluate the efficacy of the VIA kit.
Methods: One hundred (100) women attending the gynecology outpatient in a medical college hospital were recruited for the study. A traditional Pap smear followed by VIA test was conducted as a screening for cervical cancer. Further cervical biopsy was done if VIA was positive or if indicated by Pap smear. The VIA test was done using a VIA kit which contained all necessary components, including a pre-prepared solution of 5% acetic acid.
Results: The majority of the patients in the study were between 30-39 years of age. Vaginal discharge was the most common presenting complaint. Detecting latent infections and treating them timely is an added benefit of the screening tests. Cervicitis could lead to erosions and unhealthy-looking cervix which bleeds on touch and may not always be premalignant in nature. In the study, VIA was highly specific in comparison to Pap smear – however, sensitivity could not be determined due to small sample size.
Conclusion: Combining VIA and Pap tests will reduce the number of visits to the hospital. Stringent criteria for differentiating VIA positive cases will improve the specificity of VIA. The ready-to-use kit was useful in the outpatient setting as a standardized approach and will help reduce interpretation issues and automated image analysis in the future.