Almost 27,000 women were invited to screen for the prevention of cervical cancer caused by the Papilloma virus. Since the beginning of the year, when the new screening managed by Ats Insubria began with the involvement of the microbiology laboratory of the Varese hospital, 9579 women responded to the invitation, equal to 36% of the participants.
The segment of the population involved goes from 36 to 64 years old, is a resident of the territories of Varese (14888 invitations) and Como (11.938). Among the tests performed, a small part required further investigations: they were 305 women sent for colposcopy for positivity (3.2%) which will be followed by monitoring with possible treatment in a phase prior to the development of a tumor.
Viruses of the HPV family represent the most common of sexually transmitted infections; contagion can also occur through simple contacts in the genital area. There is now scientific evidence that in 99% of cases of cervical cancer, the Papilloma virus is present as an oncogenic agent.
The new public screening program consists of the active offer of pap test to women aged 25-29, not already vaccinated for HPV in adolescence. Women between 30-64 years oldregardless of HPV vaccination status, are invited for execution of HPV DNA test on cervical smear (same sampling method followed for the Pap test) to be repeated every 5 years in case of negativity. The sampling in both cases is carried out at the network of Family Consultants of the three ASSTs.
Younger women, previously vaccinated with a full course of HPV vaccination, will be invited for the first time for screening, with HPV DNA test every 5 years, starting from 30 years of age.
Analytical cytological investigations – Pap test – and molecular research of HPV strains at oncogenic risk – HPV DNA test – are performed, if one of the two tests is positive, at the Pathological Anatomy Laboratory of ASST Sette Laghi in sequence, on the same biological sample without the need for repetition of the sample by the woman. Responsible of the aforementioned Laboratory is the Prof. Fausto Sessa, which is also Full Professor of Pathological Anatomy at the University of Insubria.
“Screening campaigns are essential to affect prevention and ensure early diagnosis of population groups potentially exposed to cancer risk. The new screening program for cervical cancer allows for both cytological examination (Pap test) and molecular examination with HPV-DNA research to be carried out with a single cervical sample, on the same biological sample. In the event of a positive HPV – DNA test and at the same time the Pap test, the woman is contacted by the ATS Screening Center and promptly placed in charge of the ASST Gynecology Divisions to carry out the free colposcopy. The women included in the program therefore have a concrete opportunity to defend themselves from cervical cancer with an effective test and a dedicated hospital procedure in cases confirmed positive for the first level test ” dr. Giuseppe Catanoso Medical Director of ATS Insubria.
“However, it is important to highlight the importance for all women, even for those who adhere to screening, to provide for periodic gynecological checks for a more comprehensive and complete assessment of the health of the genital and reproductive system. In fact, cervical cancer screening certainly represents a precious opportunity for women to enter a structured preventive process, but it is good to know that it is specifically aimed at the prevention of cervical cancer “underlines the Dr. Annalisa Donadini, Director of the Preventive Medicine Service in the communities of ATS Insubria.
The Agency intends to continue in the future the progressive extension of screening to the entire target 25-64 years, aiming, in particular in the next months of the current year, to involve as a priority young women 25 years old, born in 1997 and not already vaccinated. for HPV, as well as women born in 1958 and 1959.
The recent critical issues affecting the IT system of ATS Insubria have caused a limited slowdown in activities related to screening. However, the work continues and, shortly, the predefined time schedules will resume at full speed, making it possible, in all probability, to recover even the inconveniences of the last few weeks that were certainly not wanted and for which, in any case, we apologize.