Cervical cancer is the most common form of cancer that affect women of all ages, especially those who are sexually active. It is the HPV that causes cervical cancer. Since the disease does not have any symptoms in the initial stages of cancer, most cervical cancer cases are detected towards the later stages when things become out of control.
Cervical cancer can be easily detected if you conduct regular Pap smear tests. This simple test which is non invasive in nature can be done in any lab and the results can be used not only to detect cervical cancer but also for checking whether you are prone to cervical cancer by looking at the abnormal cells present in the cervix.
The Pap Smear Test To Detect Cervical Cancer
All women who are above the age of 21 and are sexually active must undergo Pap smear test every year to detect cervical cancer early on and prevent complications and also to increase your life expectancy. A pap smear involves scraping the cervix for cervical tissues and testing it for abnormal changes. A liquid based Pap smear test too is available for testing for cervical cancer.
Pelvic Examination To Detect Cervical Cancer
Regular pelvic examination by a gynaecologist will help in detecting cervical cancer early. Most cervical cancers are caused by human papilloma virus. The doctor will insert a speculum into the cervix for collecting cells for testing. Physical testing involves inserting a finger into the vagina for feeling the cervix and the surrounding areas for any abnormality while pressing the other hand on the stomach. If necessary, he/she will recommend further tests.
Colposcopy To Detect Cervical Cancer
If the Pap smear shows abnormal cell changes, a colposcopy can be done. In his procedure, a colposcope which is a small instrument with a magnifier and a light attached to it will be inserted inside the vaginal cavity by your doctor and the doctor will check for any kind of abnormal growth of lesions inside the cervix. In case such growths are detected, further checkups would be necessary for ruling out cervical cancer.
Biopsy To Detect Cervical Cancer
A biopsy is the testing of live tissues taken from the cervix. For this purpose, a cone shaped sample of cervical tissue is removed from inside the cervix. This tissue is then send for lab testing to confirm the presence of cancerous cells. Tissue samples can also be removed from the cervix by scrapping the cervix. This method is known as endocervical curettage.
Blood Tests To Detect Cervical Cancer
The blood test for cervical cancer is called Recaf Test which is very accurate. This test can be done in conjunction with a pap smear to get an accurate result.
Symptoms Of Cervical Cancer To Detect Cervical Cancer
Though the symptoms of cervical cancer are not very prominent, sometimes women might experience pain in the pelvic region, bleeding from the vagina which is abnormal, abnormal vaginal discharge and pain while urinating. Though these symptoms could also be due to infections and other STDs, it is always better to check the reason and confirm that these symptoms are not due to cervical cancer. Ensuring that you have an annual pap smear done will help you stay away from this life threatening diseases.