Celebrating the life's work of our Governance Director, Mr. Joe Jordan

18/10/2019

Congratulations to our Governance Director, Mr. Joe Jordan, who has received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the European Federation for Colposcopy (EFC). The awards ceremony took place in Rome on Thursday, 26th September.

Mr Jordan is a consultant gynaecologist and worked at the Birmingham Women’s Hospital from 1966 until his retirement from the NHS in 2002. He’s made an extensive contribution to the field of cervical cancer prevention, detection, and treatment, and has founded organisations which continue to help prevent deaths from cervical cancer across the globe.

In 1966, and at the start of Mr Jordan’s career, cervical cancer was responsible for more female deaths than any other type of cancer. In 1966, screening with cervical cytology was in its infancy, with the objective being to detect cervical cancer in its precancerous form, then called carcinoma in situ (CIS), or early invasive disease. At that time, the only treatment available for women diagnosed with cervical cancer or CIS was a hysterectomy or removal of most of the cervix by cone biopsy. In 1997, Mr Jordan was sent to the Norwegian Radium Hospital to learn the technique of Colposcopy. The Colposcope is an operating microscope which allows outpatient microscopic examination of the cervix: areas of abnormal cells can then be identified and removed, usually as an outpatient procedure.

Mr Jordan became the Founder President of the British Society of Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology in 1972 and the International Federation for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology in 1978. In 1978, he introduced the technique of laser destruction of CIS, and Birmingham Women’s Hospital became the first clinical establishment in Europe to offer laser treatment for this disease.

Mr Joe Jordan, awarded EFC’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

In 1982, Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) was identified as the cause of cervical cancer, and the development of a vaccine followed. Since 2012, the HPV vaccination has been offered to girls at age 12, and as males also harbour the virus, the vaccination is soon to be available for boys.

Mr Jordan established the European Federation for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology (EFC) in 1996, and today, EFC has 34 member countries in and around Europe affiliated to it. All of these counties have signed up to the EFC Guidelines for Training and Certification of Colposcopists, and for the management of women with abnormal cytology or HPV tests.

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