'UNDERSTANDING CERVICAL CANCER?
The cervix is the lowermost part of the uterus (womb) that leads to the vagina. It connects the Vagina to the Womb.
Any of the following could be signs or symptoms of cervical cancer:
- Blood spots or light bleeding between or following periods
- Menstrual bleeding that is longer and heavier than usual
- Bleeding after intercourse, douching, or a pelvic examination
- Increased vaginal discharge
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- Bleeding after menopause
- Unexplained, persistent pelvic and/or back pain
IF YOU NOTICE ANY OR ALL OF THESE SYMPTOMS, PLEASE VISIT THE HOSPITAL SO THAT YOUR DOCTOR CAN CHECK FOR THE FOLLOWING TESTS USED TO DIAGNOSE CERVICAL CANCER:
- Bimanual pelvic examination and sterile speculum examination. In this examination, the doctor will check for any unusual changes in the patient's cervix, uterus, vagina, ovaries, and other nearby organs
- Pap test. During a Pap test, the doctor gently scrapes the outside and inside of the cervix, taking samples of cells for testing.
- HPV typing test. An HPV test is similar to a Pap test. The test is done on a sample of cells from the cervix. The doctor may test for HPV at the same time as a Pap test or after Pap test results show abnormal changes to the cervix. Certain types or strains of HPV, called highrisk HPV, such as HPV16 and HPV18, are seen more often in women with cervical cancer and may help confirm a diagnosis
- Colposcopy. Colposcopy can also be used to help guide a biopsy of the cervix. During a colposcopy, a special instrument called a colposcope is used. The colposcope magnifies the cells of the cervix and vagina, similar to a microscope. It gives the doctor alighted, magnified view of the tissues of the vagina and the cervix.
- Biopsy. A biopsy is the removal of a small amount of tissue for examination under a microscope. Other tests can suggest that cancer is present, but only a biopsy can make a definite diagnosis.