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The Tao Brush is a medical instrument used to perform an alternative method of endometrial biopsy.
Additional recommended knowledge
The traditional method of endometrial biopsies uses a specialized catheter (the Pipelle) to suction away a portion of the uterine lining. The Tao Brush method instead uses a small, flexible brush to gently brush the entire inside of the uterus. Thus, the Tao Brush is able to gather a more complete sampling of the uterus lining, removes less tissue, and is less painful than the traditional method.
According to the American Cancer Society, endometrial cancer is the most common cancer of the female reproductive system. In 2007 there will be approximately 39,080 new cases. About 7,400 women in the United States will die of uterine cancer.
The vast majority of the cases (70%) were diagnosed in women between the ages of 45 and 74, with the highest number between 55 and 64. The proportion of women who will be diagnosed with endometrial cancer is 1 in 40. As with all cancers, those diagnosed at an early stage have a much higher survival rate. The Tao Brush biopsy is able to detect endometrial adenocarcinoma, which accounts for 97% of all endometrial cancers.  Because the Tao Brush biopsy method is able to collect samples from the entire uterus without discomfort to the patient, it is an excellent method of early detection. Currently, it is the only available method. 
The procedure for the Tao Brush biopsy is:
1. The patient will be asked to lay on the table will their feet in the stirrups as for a routine pelvic exam.
2. The brush will be inserted into the uterus. The covering sheath will protect the brush from collecting any contaminating tissue from the cervix.
3. Once the brush is in place, the sheath is removed.
4. The brush is then rotated 4-5 times, collecting tissue from the entire uterine lining.
5. The sheath is then replaced, ensuring that the tissue samples are trapped on the brush.
6. The brush is removed and placed directly in the fixative solution.
The entire procedure takes approximately 30 seconds and can be completed at the same time as a routine Pap Smear.
The sample will be ready for processing in about 30 minutes and can be stored for several weeks, allowing it to be transported to an offsite laboratory. Bostwick Laboratories, currently the only laboratory which processes Tao Brush biopsies, called the TruTest, usually reports the results of the test within 3 business days. 
Along with early detection of endometrial cancer, the TruTest also test for Chlamydia, Gonorrhea and HPV.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Tao_Brush". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|