Self-testing introduced to remove stigma, boost HPV / Cervical Cancer ability
– First English-speaking Caribbean Guyana to introduce efforts
Kaieteur News – Self-testing for the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) – the disease that causes cervical cancer, is one method of helping more women overcome the obstacles of discomfort and anxiety, which they experience having to be screened vaginal by a medical professional.
As such, Dr. Latoya Gooding, an oncologist affiliated with Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC), has been promoting self-testing for HPV as part of efforts to get more women aware of their status as it relates to cervical cancer which remains the deadliest form of cancer among women in Guyana.
Dr. Gooding has been leading the charge of promoting a self-test for cervical cancer since October last year. Its foundation — The Giving Hope Foundation, has been the first to benefit from a gift from Mía by XytoTest Molecular Self-Screening Test Kits for HPV in Guyana, making the country the first English-speaking Caribbean to introduce self tested for HPV / cervical cancer.
The kits donated by Ansa Mc Al Trading Limited and ROCHE, were part of efforts to raise awareness of the deadly form of cancer during awareness month activities.
During a recent interview with this newspaper, Dr. Gooding, with cervical cancer still the most deadly form of cancer for women in Guyana, she has been using her efforts to encourage women to be tested.
In this regard, she touched on the well-known slogan that early detection saves lives.
During the interview, the oncologist noted that “knowing your status early can help you get the treatment you need to stop any type of cancer spreading and becoming fatal.”
To this end, he emphasized that the self-test package puts women in a better position to be screened and know their status as it allows them to self-collect cervical cells in any unaided environment.
According to the oncologist, the tests are also easy and efficient.
He explained that when he enters the vagina, the applicator begins to collect cells until it reaches the cervix. And while women may not reach the back of the cervix, the applicator would have collected enough cells to test them and you can post them in for lab screening.
He stated that once the samples are collected, they will be analyzed by PCR tests to identify the DNA for people at high risk of the HPV virus. It also uses the same samples to determine the likelihood of these people developing cervical cancer.
Dr. Gooding, given that there are 135 different types of HPV, the test is specific because it gives users a guide to the type of HPV the person may have developed.
The doctor was keen to note, however, that at present, Xytotest’s Mia Molecular Home Screening Test Kits are not currently on the local market. Currently, it is only distributed through the Hope Foundation.
When the product was introduced to Guyana last October, ANSA Regional Head of Health and Welfare McAl Andrel Griffith had explained that it would take 14 days before consumers received their result. This is due to the fact that the kits will have to go abroad for tests.
Griffith noted that in contrast to Pap’s cervix, which has a sensitivity of 30% to 50%, the Mia system by XytoTest has a sensitivity of 96% in its results. “So, the aim of the self-collected test is to become a great alternative in the fight against cancer,” he said.
This is done through DHL. XYTRO-tested Mia is a comprehensive diagnostic system developed and patented by the American company Mel- mont medical, LLC discovered in 2014 by Frank Melendez, MSc and Liliana Montes, MSc.
This type of HPV Testing is touted as the number one recommended screening tool for cervical cancer, worldwide.