Project Teal | Karen Leung Foundation
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Project Teal

Screening made simple!

About the Project

This is a joint project between the University of Hong Kong (Dept of O&G), Roche Diagnostics, the Karen Leung Foundation, Christian Action and the Family Planning Association of Hong Kong (FPA).

With this project, we aim to provide cervical cancer screening services to women who do not attend regular screening. This way more women can be screened and through early detection avoid developing cervical cancer, one of the most preventable cancers.

In the project, we will offer free cervical screening tests for 500 eligible women.

Meanwhile, it is also a research project in which we would like to determine the possibility and potential of conducting cervical screenings tests at home through self-sampling.

By joining this project, you will be given a kit to do the test yourself at home (i.e. self- sampling), with clear instructions. Since self-sampling is not yet a standard screening method in Hong Kong, you are advised to take the kit back to a nearby FPA clinic within one month upon recieving the self-sample kit, where you will also receive a standard cervical screening test (cervical smear) and HPV test free of charge.

If you prefer not to go to a clinic, you can simply post the kit back to us within two weeks (we will arrange free delivery service for you) and we will inform you the test result.

If you like to join the project or find out more: click here

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Way to Test

Participant Guide

  • 1

    Receive the kit

    If you join the project, a self-sampling kit will be mailed to you within two weeks.
  • 2

    Read the instructions

    When you receive the pack, please read through the enclosed instructions.
    What's self-sampling?
  • 3

    Collect the sample

    Please follow the instruction sheet to collect the sample.
  • 4

    Attend to the FPA clinics (Recommended)

    Please take the sample to one of the FPA clinics within one month upon receiving the kit* and receive a free cervical smear and HPV test.
    List of FPA clinics
    Or

    Not attend to the FPA clinics

    If you prefer not to attend to a FPA clinics, please follow the instruction sheet to arrange free pick up by our courier service within two weeks. We will contact you with the result of the test and advise you to attend for further test at the FPA if required (free of charge). Read more

FAQs

Q. How common is cervical cancer among women?
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A. Cervical cancer is the 9th most common cancer and the 9th leading cause of cancer-related deaths amongst women in Hong Kong according to the cancer registry of 2017.
Q. What causes cervical cancer?
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A. The human papillomavirus (HPV) is the leading cause of cervical cancer, causing more than 99% of cases. Most HPV infections are spread through sexual contact but are cleared by the body naturally. However, persistent HPV infections can cause abnormal cervical cell growth and lead to cervical cancer.
Q. Are all HPV types cancer-causing?
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A. There are more than 100 types of HPV, but only some are considered high-risk for cervical cancer. HPV 16 and 18 are the highest-risk of all, causing 70 per cent of cervical cancers.
There is currently no treatment for HPV but often the infection clears naturally . In most women, HPV infections clear within two years of detection.
Q. How is cervical cancer preventable?
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A. There are some general preventive measures such as avoiding smoking, practicing safe sex and leading a healthy lifestyle. However, the best ways to prevent cervical cancer are vaccination against HPV and regular cervical cancer screening.

Vaccination works best for young girls before they are sexually active. However, it does not provide full protection. Hence, regular cervical cancer screening is recommended.
Q. What is cervical cancer screening?
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A. Pap smear ( Cytology ) is the standard cervical cancer screening tool used in Hong Kong. It is a quick and simple test for women to detect abnormal cell changes in the cervix, which may progress to cancer if ignored.

Besides, high-risk HPV (hrHPV) testing is an alternative primary screening tool in several Western countries. hrHPV testing – either as a co-test with cytology or as a stand-alone primary test – has been included in national screening guidelines in many countries (e.g. the Netherlands).
Q. What is a HPV test?
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A. The HPV test looks for the presence of the high-risk HPV. It is significantly more sensitive than the Pap smear and will miss fewer cervical cancer cases.
Q. What is the difference between a Pap smear and a HPV test?
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A. Pap smear looks for abnormal cervical cells while HPV test looks for high risk HPV. HPV test has higher sensitivity than Pap smear.
Q. I have never had sexual intercourse, am i still at risk?
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A. If you have never had any sexual contact with a man or woman, your chance of developing cervical cancer is very low.
Q. If I have had only 1 partner, am I still at risk?
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A. Yes, you are still at risk.
Q. If I choose to go to the FPA clinic as a part of the project, is the test at FPA clinic the same as the one done in a Maternal & Child Health Centre?
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A. Not exactly, you usually have only Pap smear in Maternal & Child Health Centre for cervical screening. In our study, both Pap smear and HPV test will be done using the same sample and there is no extra procedure.
Q. If I choose to go to the FPA clinic as part of this project , what should I do?
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A. 1. Register online and fill in the infomation needed.
2. You will recieve a post mail with the self-sample kit within two weeks.
3. Do the self-sample as instructed.
4. Bring the self sample and the invitation letter to FPA (in the self-sample kit) for Pap smear + HPV test within ONE MONTH. NO BOOKING is required.
5. The FPA will return the test result (around 2 months).
Q. If I want to join this project but I prefer not going to a clinic, what should I do?
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A. 1. Register online and fill in the infomation needed.
2. You will recieve a post mail with the self-sample kit within two weeks.
3. Do the self sample as instructed.
4. Mail the test kit as instructed within TWO WEEKS.
5. The reaserch staff from HKU will inform you the result (around 2 months),
Q. I am having my period, should I get screened later?
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A. Yes, you should get screened after your period ends.
Q. Do I need to pay for the test?
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A. No, it is FREE. This is a HKU study supported by the Karen Leung Foundation, which is a charity that provides women with free screenings and vaccination to prevent cervical cancers. We hope to help more women and improve your health.
Q. Is there any more information about cervical cancer and cervical screening in Hong Kong?
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A. You can visit the website of cervical screening programme by Department of Health, HKSAR https://www.cervicalscreening.gov.hk/
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Programme Partners

The University of Hong Kong (Dept of O&G) is the main study investigator.
Roche Diagnostics is study sponsor.
The Karen Leung Foundation is the co-investigator, participant recruiter and study sponsor.
Christian Action is a participant recruiter.
The Family Planning Association of Hong Kong (FPA) is a medical provider.
Assets Created with Sketch. Address
P.O.BOX 9331, General Post Office, Hong Kong
Assets Created with Sketch. Email
Project.Teal@karenleungfoundation.org
Assets Created with Sketch. Tel
+852 2847 7764
+852 2255 4265

More about Self-Sampling

 

1. What is self-sampling?

  • Self-sampling means you take a sample yourself at home instead of having to go to a clinic for the doctor to collect a sample.

  • It involves putting in a thin cotton swab into your vagina to obtain the sample. To watch a video on how to obtain a self sample, please refer to the “Videos” in the microsite.

  • The sample is tested for presence of high risk HPV.

  • In some countries, such as the Netherlands and Australia, self sampling has been adopted as part of the routine cervical screening program. In Hong Kong, it is not yet part of the standard screening program.

 

2. Is it painful?

  • The cotton swab is very thin and the tip is soft. It will not be painful to insert, but there may be mild discomfort.

 

3. Is it accurate?

  • A doctor/nurse-collected sample of the cells in the cervix, i.e. a cervical smear, has been the standard method for cervical screening in the past decades.

  • Many studies* have now been done to show that the accuracy of self-sampling with HPV testing approaches that of a cervical smear.

  • Addition of HPV testing to the doctor collected cervical smear sample improves the pick up rate for abnormalities and is currently the most sensitive method.

  • So, if you are too busy to attend a clinic for cervical screening, a self-sample maybe an acceptable option.

  • To have the most accurate test, you are advised to attend a clinic for a doctor/nurse– collected sample.

 

4. Videos & patient instruction on Self-Sampling

  • Please refer to the Self-Sampling video under the “Videos” of the microsite for further description and instruction.

 

*References:
  1. Arbyn M, Verdoodt F, Snijders PJF, et al. Accuracy of human papillomavirus testing on self-collected versus clinician-collected samples: a meta-analysis. Lancet Oncol 2014;15: 172-83.
  2. Arbyn M et al. Detecting cervical precancer and reaching underscreened women by using HPV testing on self samples: updated meta-analyses. BMJ 2018;363:k4823.

List of FPA clinics

  • Wan Chai Clinic (G/F)

    FPA Clinic
    G/F, Southorn Centre, 130 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai, H.K. (MTR Wan Chai Station Exit B1)
    Enquiry Tel
    2919 7777 (Appointment is not required)
    Mon-Fri
    9:00am to 8:00pm
    Sat
    9:00am to 5:00pm
    Sun and Public Holidays
    Closed
  • Ma Tau Chung Clinic

    FPA Clinic
    1/F, 105 Ma Tau Chung Road, Kln.
    Enquiry Tel
    2711 9271 (Appointment is not required)
    Mon-Fri
    9:00am to 8:00pm
    Sat
    9:00am to 5:00pm
    Sun and Public Holidays
    Closed
  • Wong Tai Sin Clinic

    FPA Clinic
    G/F, 1-2 Lung On House, Lower Wong Tai Sin Estate II, Kln. (MTR Wong Tai Sin Station Exit C2)
    Enquiry Tel
    2326 2447 (Appointment is not required)
    Mon-Fri
    9:00am to 8:00pm
    Sat
    9:00am to 5:00pm
    Sun and Public Holidays
    Closed
  • Yuen Long Clinic

    FPA Clinic
    G/F, 149-153 On Ning Road, Yuen Long, N.T. (MTR Long Ping Station Exit B2)
    Enquiry Tel
    2477 3201 (Appointment is not required)
    Mon-Fri
    9:00am to 8:00pm
    Sat
    9:00am to 5:00pm
    Sun and Public Holidays
    Closed
  • Tsuen Wan Clinic

    FPA
    Room 1621-1622, 16/F, Nan Fung Centre, 264-298 Castle Peak Road, Tsuen Wan, N.T. (MTR Tsuen Wan Station Exit A)
    Enquiry Tel
    2742 8183 (Appointment is not required)
    Mon-Fri
    9:00am to 8:00pm
    Sat
    9:00am to 5:00pm
    Sun and Public Holidays
    Closed