12. 03. 2009
Zlico's System Might Spell the End for Pap Smears
We have witnessed steady strides in the fight against cervical cancer. Vaccines Gardasil and Cervarix are now available for girls to protect them from the human papilloma virus (HPV), the main cause of cervical cancer. Unfortunately the vaccines are only given to young girls. They also don't protect women from every form of HPV which means there's still a need for Pap Smear testing to attempt to catch the disease early.
Every year, millions of women visit their gynecologists and endure the discomfort of the Pap Smear. After the test is complete, there's often weeks of waiting for the results, leaving women to wonder if they'll become part of the frightening statistics on cervical cancer. British medical diagnostic, Zilco is working to alleviate some of the stress with its new device that can conduct a relatively quick and painless pap.
Comprised of a handheld device that includes a docking station and a pencil-like probe, the system conducts the test using a technique that bounces a mild electrical current across the cervix's surface. Abnormal cells will bounce the current back differently than normal cells. The probe will be covered in a disposable sleeve designed for one-time uses, keeping everything sanitary.
The system is currently in clinical trials in Europe. If the results are favorable, women may no longer have to endure the weeks of uncertainty and anxiety that one long cotton swab can create.