9/03/02 - PapSure: Sure-Fire Protection Against Cervical Cancer

Now in the Heartland a woman can find out in seconds if she needs to worry about cervical cancer. One gynecologist's office is offering a new procedure, that can immediately shine a light on a potential problem.
It's called the PapSure, and with the help of a little blue light, doctors in Perryville are able to detect pre-cancerous cells, that could lead to cervical cancer.
31-years-old may seem young to start worrying about cervical cancer, but for Tabitha Gibbons it's not. "I have family history so I felt I should get something to detect it earlier the better, " Tabitha says. That's why Tabitha decided to get a PapSure, a new procedure that can be done in addition to a pap smear, to detect cervical cancer.
OB/GYN Dr. Tanya Mero says, "Pap smears are actually collections of cells that are taken from the cervix and taken to pathologists for review. This is different because it's a visual inspection and gives an answer that day if there's abnormalities on the cervix or not." With the help of a little blue light, doctors are able to see abnormal cells. "During the exam, after a pap smear is taken, a small about of vinegar is applied to the cervix," Dr. Mero says. "We wait 60 seconds and turn the lights down. With the light already on the speculum, it illuminates the cervix and then we wait 30 seconds, and we know immediately."
Dr. Mero says doing a PapSure, combined with a pap smear, detects pre-cancerous cells over 90 percent of the time. A pap smear by itself detects pre-cancerous cells 50 to 60 percent of the time. So adding a PapSure to her yearly check-up gives Tabitha peace of mind. "Anything that can detect early cancer and treat it sooner is a great test to have," Tabitha says.
PapSures cost about 40 dollars, and right now, most insurance companies won't pay. PapSure's are new, especially here in the Heartland, ask your gynecologist if they're using the procedure if you're interested.