Bermuda Hospitals Board’s Pathology Department Leads the Way in the Detection of Cervical Cancer

Women in Bermuda to benefit from advanced screening system on-Island

Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB)’s Pathology Department, based in the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital, announced today the implementation of the ThinPrep Imaging System with Dual Review for cervical cancer screening. Approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, this process is the most accurate type of testing currently available for cervical cancers and BHB is the only laboratory in Bermuda offering this state-of-the-art process.

The new ThinPrep system combines advanced computer imaging technology with human expertise to improve cervical cancer screening efficiency and performance. It is the first fully integrated, interactive computer system available to assist the experts in screening Pap test slides. All cervical cancer tests at BHB are now screened using this system.

“Our Pathology Department is committed to providing women in Bermuda with the best new technology to detect cervical cancer early,” said Dr. Kered James, BHB Chief of Pathology. “The ThinPrep system ensures we offer the most accurate screening process available, giving women the best chance of catching cervical cancer when it is curable. As technology becomes available that improves testing accuracy, we are committed to keeping pace for the health and wellbeing of people in Bermuda. Making this our standard practice ensures we are delivering the highest quality healthcare to our community.”

Cervical cancer is almost 100% curable if detected early. More than 30 published studies involving more than 500,000 patients have demonstrated improved performance using the ThinPrep system. Improved accuracy of testing means a better chance of early diagnosis and a better outcome for women with cervical cancer.

“We are very excited to offer the ThinPrep system to women in Bermuda,” says Jackie Simons, BHB Senior Technologist for Anatomic Pathology. “Each Pap test is now analyzed by the new system and then screened by a skilled cytotechnologist. Cells of interest are highlighted for the technologist to review, helping them to better focus their skills on pre-cancerous cells. This new method improves disease detection and enables early treatment interventions to prevent cancer.”

In general, doctors in Bermuda recommend beginning Pap testing when women become sexually active. Women with certain risk factors may require frequent testing and are encouraged to discuss cervical cancer screening with their healthcare provider. These risk factors include a previous diagnosis of cervical cancer or a Pap test that showed precancerous cells, exposure to diethylstilbestrol (DES) before birth, HIV infection and a weakened immune system due to organ transplant, chemotherapy or chronic corticosteroid use. Women can request their doctor or gynaecologist send their Pap tests to the hospital for testing in order to benefit from this new system.

“The good news for women in Bermuda is they now have access to state-of-the-art cervical screening,” adds Dr. James. “And physicians can feel confident that specimens sent to our laboratory will be processed using the best available technology for detecting cervical cancer cells.”

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