January 29, 2024 (Hagåtña, Guam) – January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month, and to increase Guam’s capacity to prevent this deadly but preventable disease, eleven of Guam’s doctors and nurses from the Todu Guam Foundation, Marianas Physicians Group, Seventh Day Adventist Clinic, Guam Memorial Hospital, and the Northern and Southern Community Health Services under the Department of Public Health and Social Services (DPHSS) received up to 30 hours of colposcopy training.  Colposcopy complements routine cervical cancer screening by meticulously examining the cervix to identify areas affected by chronic, persistent human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, which, if left untreated, can lead to cervical cancer.

Following the American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology (ASCCP) guidelines, the course included classroom simulation and demonstration, as well as opportunities to observe and perform/assist in colposcopy and related diagnostic procedures. Visiting trainers, Dr. Alan Waxman, Emeritus Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, and Dr. Ann Chang, Sharma Endowed Professor of OB/GYN and Associate Chair of Community Partnership at the University of Hawaii and Hawaii Pacific Health, covered a range of topics related to colposcopy, including instrumentation and equipment, colposcopic evaluation of the cervix, and guiding interactive case reviews and hands-on practice. 

Training participant, Dr. Mariana Cook-Hyunh, shared, “In our unique island setting, there are few specialists to provide women’s health services, especially to our most underserved and vulnerable populations. By training our family medicine physicians and mid-level practitioners, we are able to expand access to care and improve the skills of our local healthcare professionals. Through our collaboration with the PACe project, we aim to better serve all the women of Guam.”

The training was conducted from January 16 to 19 at the Todu Guam Foundation and was sponsored by the Pacific Against Cervical Cancer (PACe) Project, at no cost to participants, who will continue to be mentored by experienced local physicians.

Read the full E-Blast HERE!