Women who receive abnormal results from a cervical screening test will have greater access to treatment, with Victoria’s first dedicated, private Colposcopy Clinic open at Epworth Freemasons.
A colposcopy is a method of examining the health of a cervix, using a small microscope to determine whether any cells have changed and whether further investigation or treatment is needed to prevent cervical cancer.
Demand for colposcopy services increased when the Australian National Cervical Screening program revised the cervical screening pathway in 2017. Changes and guidelines saw a doubling in the number of colposcopic examinations.
Until now, thousands of women faced a nervous wait of between six and twelve months to have a colposcopy.
Gynaecological oncologist Dr Julie Lamont, from Epworth Freemasons, said that the lengthy wait can be traumatic for some women.
“Some patients are understandably quite anxious after being advised their test has returned an abnormal result,” Dr Lamont said.
“There is the obvious impact to their wellbeing and mental health and some women may even delay having children, until they have a colposcopy. It’s important for them to have easier access to colposcopy after an abnormal screening test.”
Women referred by their GP to the Colposcopy Clinic at Epworth Freemasons will usually be seen within a few weeks.
The colposcopy is done in a clinic setting and patients pay around $250 gap fee after the Medicare rebate.
Specialised medical equipment used to treat and care for women at the Colposcopy Clinic at Epworth Freemasons was funded with thanks to the generosity of donors to the Epworth Medical Foundation.
Simon Benedict, Executive General Manager, Epworth Freemasons says the establishment of a dedicated colposcopy clinic will allow quicker and more streamlined answers for women, when they need it most.
“Epworth Freemasons has a proud history of excellence in women’s health and this is an important part of the services we offer to support women.”
Georgia Vincent had a colposcopy after receiving abnormal results from a pap smear. She was referred to a hospital and faced a wait of several months for a follow-up biopsy and surgery.
Ms Vincent said she decided to self-fund the biopsy and surgery at Epworth Freemasons to be treated sooner.
“Based on my results, for peace of mind, I wanted to get the procedure over and done with and that’s why I was prepared to pay,” Ms Vincent said.