In recognition of Cervical Health Awareness Month, Dr. Angelique Levi, Associate Professor of Pathology; Vice Chair of Pathology; and Director, Yale Pathology Outreach Program, shares the importance of prevention and screening for cervical cancer, and how she collaborates with others at Yale Cancer Center and Smilow Cancer Hospital.
As we honor Cervical Health Awareness Month, what do you feel is the most important message to share with our community?
Cervical screening is the key to cervical cancer prevention. Regular visits to a gynecologist or a primary care clinician for Pap test screening and/or high-risk HPV testing is the most effective way to promote cervical health. Cervical dysplasia is an important precursor lesion to cervical cancer that can be detected by Pap test screening and treated very early to prevent development of cervical cancer.
How do you collaborate with the gynecological oncology team at Smilow Cancer Hospital to care for patients with cervical cancer?
At a weekly multidisciplinary team meeting or “tumor board,” individual patient cases are discussed where all relevant clinical, radiology and pathology findings are reviewed as a group to determine collectively the best course of treatment and individualized care. By leading the review and discussion of relevant pathology findings, I have the opportunity to collaborate with the clinical care team to help care for patients with cervical dysplasia/cancer.
How do you connect with clinicians treating patients with cancer to bridge laboratory research to clinical care?
Yale Cancer Center clinical trials are an integral part of translational work that helps drive research from the laboratory into the clinics for direct patient care. As a collaborator in the THINC Trial offered at Yale Cancer Center, I provide pathologic data from the three different treatment arms of a clinical trial assessing conservative treatment options for regression of severe cervical dysplasia, the precursor lesion of cervical cancer.
Mentorship is an important part of cancer research—what is your favorite way to keep your colleagues and students engaged and learning from one another?
My colleague Sangini Sheth, MD, MPH and I co-founded and direct a monthly multidisciplinary educational conference where Yale trainees from pathology and gynecology lead and share clinical findings, colposcopy images from clinic along with Pap test, and follow up cervical biopsy results to discuss management and treatment options for patients with cervical dysplasia. Dr. Sheth and I shared a passion to create an interactive, engaging, and collaborative opportunity for residents and fellows to lead and learn, while providing faculty mentorship in a clinically relevant setting.
Cancer prevention is one of the key priorities following the NCI’s 50th anniversary of the National Cancer Act. How can we prioritize cancer prevention in our daily lives?
As a physician, by promoting the importance of overall health and wellness, and cancer screening programs to our patients and the public. As a citizen and healthcare advocate, by ensuring equitable access to healthcare. As an individual, by practicing self-care with regular physicals, participating in cancer screening programs and being mindfully aware of our bodies and health.
Featured in this article
- Sangini S Sheth, MD, MPH, FACOGAssociate Professor, Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences; Affiliated Faculty, Yale Institute for Global Health; Director of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI), Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences; Associate Chief, Gynecologic Specialties; Director of Colposcopy and Cervical Dysplasia, Gynecologic Specialties