Excerpts from "The history of colposcopy in Singapore and the SCCPS" written by Dr Lee I Wuen and A/Prof Ho Tew Hong, extracted from the History
of Obstetrics & Gynaecology in Singapore, with permission from the Obstetrical & Gynaecological Society of Singapore.
"Colposcopy was first demonstrated and taught in Singapore by Dr Ellis Pixley of Perth, Australia in 1966. He visited the University Department of
KK Hospital to give a 2-week series of lectures on the subject, having been sponsored by the Cancer Society of Western Australia. One of the lectures
he gave was at OGSS luncheon meeting on 19 August 1966 entitled "A New Look at Cervical Erosion". Dr Pixley kindled the interest of Dr Lawrence
Chan in Colposcopy, who in 1967 went to Perth to understudy Dr Pixley.
The practice of Colposcopy was further advanced after Dr Ho Tew Hong came back from his training with Professor Malcolm Coppleson in Sydney, Australia
in 1983. Soon after this, more doctors became interested in the art of colposcopy and many more people were trained and this culminates in the first Symposium
and Workshop on Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology and Gynaecological CO2 Laser which was held from 25 - 26 January 1986 at the Kandang Kerbau Hospital.
At that time this was held under the auspices of the Academy of Medicine. This was also the first time that the CO2 laser was used to treat pre-invasive
disease of the lower genital tract in Singapore. This was also the first of several visits by Professor Albert Singer, whose contributions were immense.
The course was so successful that a second one followed ten months later on 8 October 1986 with Professor Singer and Dr Michael Campion conducting another
successful workshop. With the renewed interest in the practice of colposcopy coupled with more colposcopy courses, it was felt that a Singapore society
be formed so as to advance the art as well as to engage ourselves internationally.
The idea of the formation of the Society was first initiated in April 1990 with the formation of the protem committee and the drawing up of the draft
constitution by Dr Ho Tew Hong. The draft took several revisions before it was accepted by the Registry of Societies. The doctors who constituted the
members of the protem committee to oversee the formation of the Society included Drs Lawrence Chan, WC Cheng, Ho Tew Hong, Mark Cheng , Kee Wei Heong,
Yam Kwai Lam, Ching Kwok Choy, A Ilancheran, Tay Sun Kuie, Chew Sek Yuen, Pritam Singh and Lim Tan Soo Kim. Credits should also be given to Professor
Malcolm Coppleson from Sydney who gave this idea of the formation of the Singapore Society. The constitution also had the help of Dr William Channen from
Melbourne, who gave invaluable advice into many aspects of the constitution.
With the necessary requirements from the Registry of Societies satisfied, the formation of the Society was published in the government gazette in February
1992. The initial name of the Society was "The Singapore Society of Colposcopy and Cervical Cytology". This was disallowed by the Registry of
Societies and the name was changed to "The Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Cytology of Singapore". It is also known as SCCPS in short.
The first inaugural meeting in 1993 was held in KK Hospital with 61 members. At the inaugural meeting of the Society held on 19 February 1993, the following
were elected into council, President : Dr Lawrence Chan, Vice- President : Dr Ho Tew Hong, Honorary Secretary : Dr Koh Cheng Huat and Honorary Treasurer
: Dr Kee Wei Heong. The members of the council included Drs A Ilancheran, Tay Sun Kuie, Ching Kwok Choy, Pritam Singh, Yam Kwai Lam, Chew Sek Yuen and
Lim Tan Soo Kim.
"With the renewed interest in the practice of colposcopy coupled with the formation of the Singapore Society, it was felt that affiliation of the
Singapore Society to the international body be formalised. The objective was to engage ourselves internationally. The Society was lucky to have the advice
and help of Professor Hajime Sugimori of Japan who was then the Secretary General of the International Federation of Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology
(IFCPC). With the constitution being completed, the necessary application forms were sent to the IFCPC. This eventually led the Society to be formally
admitted in Chicago in 1993. Dr Ho Tew Hong attended the general assembly and represented the Society at its affiliation into the IFCPC in Chicago in
In memory of Dr Ellis Pixley whose contributions to the practice of Colposcopy in Singapore was immeasurable, the SCCPS organised the first annual SCCPS
Lecture on 12 March 1994 at the Omni Marco Polo Hotel. The speaker for this inaugural lecture was Professor Malcolm Coppleson from Sydney, Australia.
The title of his lecture was "Cervical Cancer : Promises, Problems and Prospects".
In 1995, the Society organised the first Annual Colposcopy Course, the Singapore-Sheffield Basic and Advanced Colposcopy Course from 31 March 1995 to
1 April 1995 at the KK Hospital. The invited keynote speaker was Professor Frank Sharp from Sheffield, United Kingdom. The council decided that this course
would be an annual event held in conjunction with the Society’s annual oration. Professor Sharp spoke on "Premalignant glandular lesions of
the cervix - An emerging problem for the Colposcopist". At the 3rd AGM in 1995 the logo of the SCCPS was chosen from several designs. This simple
yet elegant logo was designed by one of Dr Ho Tew Hong’s patients.
Singapore was represented by 6 members at the 9th World Congress of the International Federation for Cervical Pathology and Colposcopy (IFCPC) in Sydney,
Australia in May 1996. Three members presented papers during the congress. The second Colposcopy Course in 1996, named as the Singapore–Tuscon Colposcopy
Course was held in Singapore General Hospital on 18 May 1996. The invited speaker was Professor Kenneth Hatch from Tuscon, USA. Professor Hatch gave the
3rd Annual SCCPS Oration titled "Evaluation of atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance and low grade squamous intraepithelial lesions".
In 1997, the Society’s membership increased to 82. The SCCPS Colposcopy Course was held in the National University Hospital from 26 to 27 April
1997. Dr Michael Campion from Sydney, Australia was the invited speaker and the Society’s Annual Orator for that year. His topic for the oration
was "Microinvasive cervical carcinoma : A clinician’s perspective".
The 4th Colposcopy Course was held at the Mount Elizabeth Hospital from 28 to 29 March 1998. Professor Ian Duncan from Dundee, Scotland was the keynote
speaker and our annual orator. He spoke on "Setting the guidelines for cervical cancer screening".
Unfortunately in 1999, the Society could not hold the colposcopy course and the annual oration as the proposed speaker was, at short notice, unable to
come. The year 2000 saw a change in the Society’s approach to the Colposcopy Course which was held at the National Cancer Centre. The faculty for
the course was mainly local. Dr Hans Ulrich Bernard from the Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Singapore gave the Annual Oration, speaking
on "Molecular basis of cervical carcinogenesis and its impact on future development of cervical cancer - Prevention and treatment".
In 2001, the Society membership stood at 95. The 6th SCCPS Colposcopy Course was held at the KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital from 31 March
2001 to 1 April 2001. Dr Patrick Walker from London, United Kingdom was the keynote speaker. Dr Walker who gave the 7th SCCPS Annual Oration and spoke
on "The unfortunate experiments and other stories".
In 2002, the Society invited Dr Robert Rome from Melbourne, Australia, Vice President of the Australian Society for Cervical Pathology and Colposcopy
to be our invited speaker for the colposcopy course from 30 to 31 March 2002. Dr Rome was also our annual orator and he spoke on "From chaos comes
order : A gynaecologist’s perspective of organising a cervical cancer screening program".
The Society continues to engage members in continuing professional development activities. On 9 February 2002, the Society held a forum for members on
the national screening program and the management guidelines for screened abnormalities. The SCCPS works closely with other sisters societies (OGSS and
Chapter O&G, Academy of Medicine) to enhance the professional development of all members.
The Singapore Society represented by the President, Dr Lee I Wuen made a bid at the XI World Congress of Cervical Pathology and Colposcopy held in Barcelona,
Spain in June 2002 to host the 13th World congress of the IFCPC which is to be scheduled by rotation in 2008 in Asia (Australia, Japan and New Zealand.
The contenders were Hong Kong, New Zealand and South Korea. Singapore lost to New Zealand by a narrow margin after the second round of voting."
Acknowledgements: Contributions from Dr Lawrence Chan and Dr Jeffrey Low
(Dr Tow Siang Hwa performing colposcopy in the 1960s)