Chapter 2 – The Cervix

Colposcopic evaluation of screen-detected abnormalities

Colposcopic examination should be undertaken only by a clinician specifically trained who is performing frequent and regular examinations and is a member of an appropriate society, group or forum in order to take part in regular updates, discussions, education, peer review and quality assurance activities. Colposcopic assessment should comply with the guidelines published by the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG) and Australian Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology (ASCCP).(42)

The aim of colposcopy is to assess the nature, severity and extent of the screen-detected abnormality in order to enable appropriate management. Colposcopy is complemented by cytopathology and histopathology. The cytology report should be available at the time of colposcopy to enhance diagnostic accuracy.

If there is colposcopic evidence of a high-grade lesion, targeted biopsy is required for histological confirmation prior to definitive therapy. Patients with an abnormal CST should not be treated without prior colposcopic assessment. (17)

For more information, see Cancer Council guidelines: Colposcopy

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