THE NEWS MINUTE (July 29, 2019)
When Dr Malika Samuel embarked on a long-term study across six centres of Apollo Hospitals in Chennai, to research the incidence of cervical cancer among women in the region, she came upon an interesting finding: Doctors were able to spot possible cases of cervical cancer more if an EVA – an enhanced visual imaging test – was done, and not just the pap smear. As the Senior Obstetrician & Gynecologist at Apollo FirstMed Hospital in Kilpauk, who strongly advocates for awareness to prevent cervical cancer, this was an important finding for her in the study which ended in 2017. Just one more inexpensive test could spot the cancer earlier, in more people.
There has however been one challenge: not many people know about the EVA and the MobileODT Colposcope, which is enabling doctors to spot the cancer. This challenge is rooted in yet another problem, she says, – general lack of awareness about cervical cancer. “The one thing I want women to know is, cervical cancer is preventable. If you catch it early enough, it is treatable. Even now, many women don’t know that,” Dr Malika says.