Cervical cancer in women is the fourth leading cause of death from cancer. It is unique to women because of their anatomy.
According to a WHO report in 2018, more than half a million women worldwide were diagnosed with cervical cancer.
Adding to that alarming number is the mortality rate. The mortality rate is more than fifty percent. It means that half of the women diagnosed with cervical cancer have irreversible conditions.
Any cancer expert will say that early diagnosis of cervical cancer is life-saving for the patient. Proper treatment at an early stage of cancer can cure the damage. This is where colposcopy steps in. So what is it?
What is a Colposcopy?
Colposcopy is the close examination of the cervix, vagina, or vulva for abnormal cells called “precancerous Tissues”. Precancerous tissue has the potential to develop into cancer. It can cause a life-threatening situation.
Besides cervical cancer diagnosis, colposcopy includes identifying non-cancerous conditions in the genital tract. Colposcopy also identifies genital warts or polyp growths.
Colposcopy is carried out through a colposcope. Colposcopes are surgical instruments that illuminate and magnify the genital tract to diagnose cancer or other diseases.
Colposcopes are heavy-duty instruments powered by electricity. They have a significant magnifying and impressive resolution power.
Many colposcopes produce three-dimensional (3D) images with excellent optics, several magnifying levels, and state-of-the-art lighting systems.
Why is Colposcopy Significant?
As aforementioned, the number of cervical cancer patients is already staggering. The low mortality rate also indicates less awareness in women regarding the weight of this issue. Therefore, a diagnostic device that can speed the confirmation is a blessing.
An early diagnosis is vital to cure cancer.
Cancer can develop to a lethal and irreversible stage with no cure. However, early diagnosis with proper treatment ensures therapy of cancer. Therefore, colposcopy is one of the most critical medical procedures.
Difference between Biopsy and Colposcopy
The biopsy is the removal of sample cells from the body for examination. During the colposcopy procedure, the doctor may perform a biopsy too. While colposcopy helps identify abnormal tissues or complications of cancer, a biopsy can confirm it.
The Procedure of Colposcopy
As hard as the name Colposcopy may sound, the procedure is very simple in contrast. A certified technician, gynecologist, or oncologist can best perform colposcopy.
Clinics and hospitals have specialized rooms for testing and operations. One can perform colposcopy in any medical procedural setting.
Experts perform colposcopy in the following manner
- First, the patient will lie face-up on an examination table or bed. The feet or the heels of the patient are placed in the stirrups at the end of the examination table. The placement of heels makes room for placing the colposcope in the center of the body at the optimum height.
- Next, the doctor inserts an instrument or tool called a speculum in the vaginal opening. A speculum is a spoon-shaped instrument. The colposcope can better examine the genital tract when a speculum widens the opening. It is painless to insert a speculum. However, it can cause minor discomfort.
- Colposcopy also includes the application of vinegar or iodine-based solution on the vulva, vagina, and cervix region. It helps in better imaging and thus diagnosis.
- Finally, the colposcope is turned on to closely analyze and examine the tissues. The colposcope is placed near the cervical or vaginal region. It remains outside the body. Only the speculum enters the body.
Where is a Colposcope Used?
Colposcopes are heavy-duty instruments. Manufacturers do not aim for the use of colposcopes in a home. It is not even recommended. In an industrial setting like a hospital or clinic, relevant experts and facilities can aid in colposcopy. Therefore, they are primarily found and used in hospitals and clinics.
Colposcopes are best suitable for a hospital. Many general hospitals use colposcopes. However, cancer hospitals specializing in treating cancer have colposcope as a mandatory device.
Private clinics or oncologists that treat private patients can also use colposcopes.
Colposcopes need a technician or expert to run them. Experts and technicians can readily identify abnormal tissues or other unhealthy conditions. Therefore, colposcopes are not for everyone to use.
Is a Colposcope Safe to Use? Are there Side Effects of Using a Colposcope?
Colposcopy is a painless procedure. It is amicable and comfortable. The performance of colposcopy by experts is more likely to end painless. However, minor discomforts are normal.
The patient’s most noted complaints after colposcopy are soreness or itchiness in the vagina region. The iodine or vinegar-based solution causes this discomfort. However, it can be easily cured by applying creams recommended by doctors.
The doctors also prescribe some pain killers to avoid any discomfort. Usually, the speculum insertion is a painless task. However, it can cause minor fatigue or pain if it remains in the body for a long time.
A biopsy is a surgical procedure. If your doctor or oncologist performs a biopsy and removes tissue or cell, it can cause side effects. The side effects of biopsy include dark fluid from the genital tract, soreness, or itching.
What is the Cost of a Colposcope?
Colposcopes are heavy-duty devices. They are also useful in the medical industry. Therefore, they are in demand. In return, the prices are evidently high.
A colposcope’s prices can range from $2000 to $8000. The prices depend on the functions, features, and additional specs like higher magnification or resolution.
Where to Get a Colposcope?
Are you looking to get a colposcope for your hospital or clinic? Say no more as we have made it easier for you.
AKW Medical is the best dealer in the medical market. We supply medical instruments to some of the most trusted hospitals and clinics throughout the United States.
Needless to say, AKW Medical is a trusted name in the medical industry, dealing in all kinds of new and refurbished medical devices.
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