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Accurate Self-Screening Device Enables Women In Addressing Cervical Cancer

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Testing for suspected cervical cancer just became more convenient for women. A self-screening device called the Delphi Screener now makes it possible for women to test themselves rather accurately in the comfort of their homes.

A group of German researchers have shown that the human papillomavirus (HPV) can be detected by the device. HPV is considered the most common cause of cervical cancer. As per the first author of the study, Yvonne Delere, “The high sensitivity of this self-sampling method guarantees to identify nearly all HPV-infected women. (1)

The study which was published in the October 2011 issue of Journal of Clinical Microbiology, examined 156 women between the age group 20 to 30 years (of whom 55 had a suspicious cytological smear obtained from the cervical cavity).

The samples for all the participants were obtained by gynaecologists. Self-sampling technique and results therefrom were compared to those of the traditional endo-cervical brush method.

The women using the self-screening device rated the usage as easy. On a scale of 0 for(easy uasge) to 100 (difficult device usage), most ratings gathered around 12. (2)

The self-screening device has already been incorporated in the cervical health screening programs in the Netherlands which will help women who frequently lack easy access to medical personnel and testing. It is considered that cervical cancer ranks among the top cancer types in women worldwide, responsible for as many as a quarter million deaths every year globally and half a million new detections annually. In an overwhelming majority, the HPV is found the microorganism causing the cancer. (3)

As per the team of researchers involved in the study, there is a good concordance between the self-sampling method and the conventional/traditional method despite the fact that the two techniques test different areas of the cervix for sampling. The traditional method draws its sample from the transformation zone (usually on the cervix’s outer surface) where the abnormal cells could develop. The self-screening technique collects sample from the whole cervical region. (4)

The Delphi Screener is a sterile syringe that contains buffered saline. To use it for self-screening of cervical cancer, the handle of the screener is depressed so that it releases saline into the vagina.

The handle is continued to be depressed for another five seconds after saline release is complete. Then the handle is slowly released so that the device retrieves the fluid pushed in. The collected fluid in the syringe can then be filled into pre-labelled tubes and can be mailed to the laboratories for analysis. (5)


1. Women Can Self-Test for HPV, Easily and Accurately, Study Suggests; Science Daily; November, 2011; http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111020163909.htm

2. Cervicovaginal Self-Sampling Is a Reliable Method for Determination of Prevalence of Human Papillomavirus Genotypes in Women Aged 20 to 30 Years; Journal of Clinical Microbiology; November, 2011; http://jcm.asm.org/content/49/10/3519

3. Sexual and Reproductive Health - Cancer of The Cervix; World Health Organization; November, 2011; http://www.who.int/reproductivehealth/topics/cancers/en

4. Women Can Self-Test for HPV, Easily and Accurately; American Society For Microbiology; November, 2011; http://www.asm.org/index.php/news-room/tip1011b.html?title=Women+Can+Self-Test+for+HPV%2C+Easily+and+Accurately

5. Cervicovaginal Self-Sampling Is a Reliable Method for Determination of Prevalence of Human Papillomavirus Genotypes in Women Aged 20 to 30 Years; Journal of Clinical Microbiology; November 2011; http://www.asm.org/images/Communications/tips/2011/1011hpv.pdf

Reviewed December 2, 2011
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith

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