Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Medical Reports: Smart Light
in what could be a big breakthrough in the fight against cervical cancer, the University of Miami is testing a new device that may soon change the way doctors test for that cancer. Seven's Lynn Martinez is here with how a smart light can bring relief to women worldwide.
WSVN -- In the past, detecting cervical cancer meant undergoing a biopsy or other invasive tests. But now a new device will hopefully change that.
Mark Faupel: "This test uses light to diagnose cancers, and it's a very simple, straight-forward test. It's non-invasive. It provides an immediate answer, and it's painless to the women."
Here's how it works:
Dr. Nahida Chakhtoura: "The speculum is inserted, the device is used, and, just like if you were doing a pap smear, the speculum would be the same methodology. There's a component of it that will go into the vagina, and then the device will scan the cervix."
The test takes about two minutes to detect any cancer cells. If they are present, the screen will change color.
The good news is patients will immediately have their results, instead of waiting weeks to find out about their biopsy.
Dr. Nahida Chakhtoura: "You can walk out of a physician's office knowing what the results are."
And because cervical cancer is the second most common cancer in women worldwide, doctors warn almost everyone should be checked on a yearly basis.
Dr. Nahida Chakhtoura: "Anybody who is sexually active, who's a smoker is at risk for cervical cancer."
Doctors at the UM School of Medicine will be the first to test it in Florida.
Dr. Nahida Chakhtoura: "I think it's an excellent idea. Hopefully has great potential for the future. The patients have tolerated the procedure very well."
The manufactures of the device are hoping it will lead to even bigger breakthroughs.
Mark Faupel: "We think eventually it has the capability of being a screening test for cervical cancer, and then also it could possibly be adapted to see and detect other cancers as well."
The device is about 95 percent accurate. Only six medical centers across the nation are testing it. It is expected to be FDA-approved by the end of next year.