New Delhi (ISJ): India launched a low-cost indigenous device for early detection of cervical cancer. AV Magnivisualizer, developed by Noida-based state-run Institute of Cytology and Preventive Oncology (ICPO), is a magnifying device for visualising the cervix, in the absence of cytology and colposcopy facilities. The instrument is also suitable to examine oral cavity for the presence of any pre-cancer and cancer lesions. The detection rate of lesions is more than 1.5 per cent compared to tungsten light torch.

The device was launched by Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad in New Delhi on Monday (Dec. 23). He said the device will enable easy screening and detection of cervical cancer in its early stages, thus making treatment more effective. Currently screening for cervical cancer is available only in regional cancer centres and medical colleges. Since the device can be operated on 12 volt portable rechargeable battery, it can be used even in remote places, where electricity is not available. The device costs just Rs. 10,000/- compared to expensive instruments currently being used by cancer detection centres.
Indian Council of Medical Research, ICMR, the parent body of ICPO has filed application for patent and negotiations are underway for technology transfer for commercial production.
?This will be rolled out in the district and sub-district community health centres and subsequently in the primary health centres,? said Azad.
Director General of ICMR Dr. VM Katoch said, this affordable device will benefit a large number of women and bring down the rate of morbidity and mortality due to cervical cancer. He said the accuracy and efficacy of the device has been evaluated through tests in five regions during the past two years and found it picks up 1.5 times more High grade pre-cancerous and cancerous lesions than the ordinary tungsten light.
Cervical cancer is the number one killer amongst cancer in several parts of rural and semi-urban India. An estimated 1.32 lakh cases are diagnosed every year and 74,000 deaths occur due to the disease every year. Cervical cancer accounted for 9 per cent of all deaths due to cancer in 2010. It does not occur de-novo. It starts from certain pre-cancerous states/lesions called dysplasias and it takes about a decade for cancer to develop from pre-cancerous lesions. Detection and appropriate treatment of pre-cancerous lesions will halt their progression to invasive cancers.