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Cervical Cancer Tips

Cervical Smear - All You Should Be Aware Of!

MBBS, MS - Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Gynaecologist, Bangalore
Cervical Smear - All You Should Be Aware Of!

A cervical smear test is often known as a Pap test and is done to establish the changes that might have occurred in cells of the cervix. A small sample of cells is taken from the surface of the cervix and is tested for any abnormalities. The sample is spread on a slide or in some cases mixed with a liquid fixative and studied under a microscope. It is one of the most popular methods to test the abnormalities in your cells and can pinpoint point cervical cancers.

About the test
A typical cervical smear or Pap test is done to identify the changes that have happened to the cells of the cervix. Diagnosing them early can be beneficial in many ways and can lower your chance of cervical cancerPAP smear or a cervical smear is a screening test for cervical cancer. For other cases, once the results of the cell growth are identified it is safe to seek other tests and medical options for diagnosis.

The procedure of typical Pap smear
The test is mostly recommended when you do not have the periods as the blood can interfere with the results. Also, before taking the test discuss with your doctor about the medications you are taking and in case you are under any birth control pills. No other special preparations are needed for the Pap test. Feel free to discuss with your doctor about the impact the test will have on you or on the painlevels, etc.The test is done by inserting a speculum into the vagina, which spreads it further. Later, a cotton swab is inserted to get the samples of cells from your cervix. The cells from the vagina are also collected in some cases and tested accordingly.

The risks involved
There no chances of risks when you go for such tests. You might feel a bit of pressure in your vaginal region and may experience a small bleeding after the testing. However, this is extremely normal. Also, there is no pain involved. If you experience heavy period and blood loss, you might experience minor discomfort when the test is being done.

The final result
Once the test is done, the results would be available usually within a week. The results can be categorized into normal and abnormal. If your cells are normal and no abnormality is found then the condition is termed as a normal result. In the case of abnormality in the cell structure, then it requires further evaluation and diagnosis to rule out cancer.

4134 people found this helpful

Colposcopy & Treatment Of CIN!

Dr. Asha Jain 88% (25 ratings)
MBBS, MD - Obstetrtics & Gynaecology, DNB (Obstetrics and Gynecology), Colposcopy Training
Gynaecologist, Raipur
Colposcopy & Treatment Of CIN!

 

Cervical cancer is one of the most common conditions to affect women in the world. However, with care, you and your doctor can easily prevent it from affecting you. Preventive measures include prevention of HPV and conduction of screening tests. Colposcopy is one such test that helps doctors determine your risk of cervical cancer.

What is a colposcopy?

A colposcopy is an examination of your cervix, vagina and vulva region for any abnormalities. A special device, colposcope, is used to examine the region. Your doctor may take a small tissue sample from the region as well. This is known as a biopsy. This tissue is then tested for cellular abnormalities. A colposcope can detect Cervical intra-epithelial Neoplasia or CIN. This is the name given to the most common cellular abnormality in the cervical region.

What is CIN?

HPV infections can damage the cells on the surface of your cervix. This damage is CIN. CIN can be of three primary stages, namely CIN 1, CIN 2 and CIN 3. The depth of cell abnormality in the cervix surface determines the stage of CIN. CIN 1 indicates minor damage to the surface that repairs itself over time without any treatment. However, CIN 2 and CIN 3 are more severe stages that require treatment, failing which it can progress to cervical cancer in the future.

Treating CIN 2 and CIN 3

Treatment for the condition depends on several important factors, such as the age of the patient, general medical condition and the severity of CIN. For CIN 2 and CIN 3, doctors try to remove the abnormal cells. Here are some surgical methods used for the removal of these cells.

Loop electrosurgical excision procedure- A small electrical wire loop removes the affected cell from the cervix. In this procedure, doctors can also collect the removed tissue to perform further tests on it.

Conization- A conical shape of the affected tissue is removed using this procedure. This was the most popular form of treating CIN before, but due to the higher post-operative risk related to the procedure, it is now only used in severe cases of the condition.

Hysterectomy- This is the last resort, where the uterus is surgically removed. If CIN does not respond to the other forms of treatment, doctors will recommend undergoing a hysterectomy.

CIN has a propensity to recur after the completion of treatment. The chances of recurrence are highest within 2 years after treatment. Therefore, you would need to follow up with doctors regularly after undergoing treatment for the condition.

4735 people found this helpful

Gynaecological Cancer - Ways How Laparoscopy Can Help!

Dr. Dale D Rodrigues 85% (10 ratings)
MBBS, MS - General Surgery, Fellowship in Minimal Access Surgery, Diploma in Minimal Access Surgery (Advanced Skull base Surgery), DNB (Surgical Oncology), Fellowship in Head & Neck Oncology
Surgical Oncology, Mumbai
Gynaecological Cancer - Ways How Laparoscopy Can Help!

Minimally invasive surgery or laparoscopic surgery is increasingly becoming popular in all fields of surgery including gynecological oncology. Given its many advantages, it is easy to see why people prefer this form of surgery. The use of laparoscopy in the field of gynecological oncology began in the late 1980s. The first laparoscopic-assisted hysterectomy was performed in 1989.

Laparoscopy and Endometrial Cancer-
The endometrium refers to the lining of the uterus. Endometrial cancer is rare are usually affect women over the age of 55 years. A hysterectomy is one of the forms of treatment for this condition. If detected in its early stages, this hysterectomy may be performed laparoscopically. As compared to traditional surgery, this reduces the hospital stay required and is associated with fewer postoperative complications. Laparoscopy may also be used to restage patients who have already undergone a hysterectomy.

Laparoscopy and Cervical Cancer-
The lowermost part of the uterus is known as the cervix. A pap smear can help in the early detection of cervical cancer. This can be treated surgically in the form of a lymphadenectomy or a radical hysterectomy. One of the factors crucial to the management of this type of cancer is an evaluation of the lymph nodes. This is where laparoscopy is very useful. As in the case of endometrial cancer, laparoscopy may also be used for a hysterectomy procedure. A laparoscopic lymphadenectomy may also be performed to investigate the extent to which the cancer has spread. Advanced stages of cervical cancer can be treated with chemotherapy and radiation. In such cases, the role of laparoscopy may be limited to staging the patient before treatment.

Laparoscopy and Adnexal Masses-
Adnexal masses refer to ovarian abnormalities and development of masses in the fallopian tubes, uterus and other organs in the pelvic cavity. Laparoscopy is routinely used to treat benign Adnexal masses. It can also be used in the management of malignant adnexal masses. However, its role is less clearly defined in such cases. When using laparoscopic procedures to address adnexal masses, it is important to identify benign masses beforehand.

Laparoscopy and Uterine Cancer-
Laparoscopy can be used in a number of ways when it comes to the management and treatment of uterine cancer. These include staging apparent early-stage cancer, determining the extent of the disease and resectability potential and to reassess a patient in cases of recurrent cancer. A hand assisted laparoscopy may also be used to resect the disease in some cases.

3505 people found this helpful

Cervical Cancer - Know Signs Of It!

Dr. Prasenjit Chatterjee 86% (10 ratings)
DMRT, MBBS, MD - Radiation Oncology, DNBR
Oncologist, Kolkata
Cervical Cancer - Know Signs Of It!

Cervical cancer is a cancer that affects only ‘females’. Although it is the most preventable cancer on Earth, it kills the maximum number of women.

Cervical cancer occurs when abnormal cells on your cervix, the lowermost part of your uterus that opens into the vagina, grow out of control. The cancer is treatable in the early stages when it hasn’t spread to other parts of your body. However, at later stages, it can be fatal.

The scariest part about cervical cancer is that its symptoms are so general that they are easily missed by most women.

Having said that, the common symptoms of cervical cancer include the following:

  • Vaginal bleeding in between menstrual periods, after intercourse, or after menopause
  • Persistent pain in the lower abdomen or pelvic area
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Abnormal vaginal discourse

Causes of Cervical Cancer
Most cervical cancers are caused by a virus called human papilloma virus or HPV. This virus is spread by having unprotected sexual contact just like HIV/AIDS and genital herpes viruses.

There are many strains of the HPV and not all strains cause cervical cancer.

Diagnosis of Cervical Cancer
Since cervical cancer is spread sexually, it’s important for women to undergo Pap smear, a regular diagnostic test for early detection of this cancer. A pap smear is a cytological test in which cells from a woman’s cervix are taken and seen under a microscope. This test can identify changes in cervical cells before they become cancerous. If you observe these abnormal changes in cervical cells and treat them early, you are safe.

It’s recommended that sexually active women get a pelvic exam and a pap test every year to rule out malignancies in the cervix and nip this ‘female’ cancer in the bud.

Treatment of Cervical Cancer
Cervical cancer has several stages, and the treatment for most stages includes:

  • Surgery such as a hysterectomy may be opted for, which means removal of the entire uterus along with the removal of pelvic lymph nodes. This implies you will never be able to bear children in future.
  • Sometimes, both the ovaries and the fallopian tubes are also removed, if cancer has spread upwards. This may result in premature menopause.
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation

Treatment for cervical cancer depends on how much the cancerous cells have spread. If it’s spread, your oncologist may suggest a combination of the above treatments.
Information and knowledge about this preventable yet lethal cancer should be disseminated among women, especially young women who have not become sexually active yet. And do remember that safe sexual practices like use of condoms and regular Pap tests will save you from this cancer.

3030 people found this helpful

Cervical Cancer - 6 Ways You Can Prevent It!

Dr. Somya Sinha 92% (67 ratings)
MBBS, MS- Obs & Gynae, DNB - Obs & Gynae
Gynaecologist, Ranchi
Cervical Cancer - 6 Ways You Can Prevent It!

Cervical cancer (a malignant tumor of the cervix, the lowermost part of the uterus) is one of the most preventable types of cancer. Because of the Pap smear test, the number of cervical cancer cases has actually dropped over the past 20 years. However, many women still develop cervical cancer.

While some cases of cervical cancer cannot be prevented, there are many things a woman can do to reduce her risk of developing cervical cancer.

Reduce Your Risk of Cervical Cancer:

  1. Get a regular Pap smear. A Pap smear can be the greatest defense against cervical cancer. It can detect cervical changes early on, before they have a chance to turn into cancer.
  2. Limit the number of sexual partners you have. Studies have shown that women who have many sexual partners increase their risk for cervical cancer. You also increase your risk of developing HPV, which has been shown to lead to cervical cancer.
  3. Quit smoking or avoid secondhand smoke. Smoking cigarettes increases your risk of developing many cancers, including cervical cancer.
  4. If you are sexually active, use a condom. Having unprotected sex puts you at risk for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), which can increase your risk factor for developing cervical cancer.
  5. Follow up on abnormal Pap smears. If you have had an abnormal Pap smear, it is important to follow up with regular Pap smears or colposcopies, and whatever else your doctor has recommended for you. If you have been treated for cervical dysplasia, you still need to follow up with Pap smears or colposcopies.
  6. Get the HPV vaccine. If you are under 27, you may be eligible to receive the HPV vaccine, which prevents high risk strains of HPV in women. The vaccine is most effective when given to young women before they become sexually active.

Again, cervical cancer prevention should be a top priority for all women. Small lifestyle adjustments, combined with regular medical care, can go a long way in preventing cervical cancer.

5039 people found this helpful

Gynaecological Cancer - How To Avert It?

Dr. Mala Raj 85% (10 ratings)
MBBS, Diploma in Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Diploma in Advanced Gynaec Laparoscopic Surgery, Diploma in Endoscopic Surgery
Gynaecologist, Chennai
Gynaecological Cancer - How To Avert It?

As we make many advances in the medical field, it can be safely estimated that almost one-third of cancers are avertable. This holds true for gynecologic cancers and cervical cancer as well. With proper care and by making important lifestyle changes, these cancers can be prevented at an early stage, thus improving the longevity of a healthy person’s life.

Let us take a look at some of the cancer prevention and detection in the field of gynaecology.

  1. Cervical cancer: This is one of the common cancers in women. In the developed world, one in every two individual is at the risk of being diagnosed with it. HPV is the main cancer-causing agent of cervical cancers and a majority of these cancers can be prevented via HPV vaccination and many more types are preventable by early screening and diagnosis.
    • HPV vaccination: One of the effective ways to prevent cervical cancer is by vaccination. While a majority of the vaccines are done under the age of 5, HPV vaccines are inoculated to girls aged between 9 to 13 years. In all technicalities, they are done before a girl reaches puberty. HPV vaccination is for girls before they are sexually active.
    • Screening: Screening is also one more important step that helps in the early detection of cancerous cells and aids in the prevention. Screenings and diagnosis can be safely had by women who reach their puberty age and it is extremely important to have this check-up periodically.
  2. Uterine Cancer: Uterine Cancer is also one of the common types of cancer women experience and it is the 5th most common cancer among the women population. Just like other types of cancer, it can be completely cured if detected at an early stage. However, there is no definite way to screen uterine cancer, other than routine ultrasonography of pelvis. They are mostly related to obesity and high estrogen exposure. Uterine cancer is most common at the age of menopause and sometimes also found in the reproductive age group.
  3. Ovarian CancerOvarian cancer is a rare type of cancer, but is one of the most hyperactive types of gynaecological cancers. There are no fool-proof screening methods available for it and it and in case if it is diagnosed at an early stage can be cured. It depends on a number of factors such as estrogen levels and in many cases; genetics seem to play an important role in such cancers. Also, women who have a family history of ovarian or colorectal cancer should be more careful in their approach and should be screened for cancerous cells periodically.

Conclusion
There are many screening programs and vaccination procedures where the cancerous cells can be safely eradicated. Awareness is extremely crucial for all types of cancer and gynaecological cancers are no different either. Get periodic health check-ups as a part of your routine and seek medical attention immediately in case of any abnormalities.

3696 people found this helpful

Symptoms And Treatment Of Cervical Cancer!

Dr. Divya Malik Chawla 88% (10 ratings)
MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, DGO
Gynaecologist, Vadodara
Symptoms And Treatment Of Cervical Cancer!

Cervical cancer occurs when abnormal cells on the cervix grow out of control. The cervix is the lower part of the uterus that opens into the vagina. Cervical Cancer is one of the most common ailments that women suffer from, making it only more important to be taken seriously and treated immediately.

Most cervical cancer is caused by a virus called human papillomavirus, or HPV. You can get HPV by having sexual contact with someone who has it. There are many types of the HPV virus. Not all types of HPV cause cervical cancer. Some of them cause genital warts, but other types may not cause any symptoms.

Most adults have been infected with HPV at some time. An infection may go away on its own. But sometimes it can lead to cervical cancer. That's why it's important for women to have regular screening. A screening can find changes in cervical cells before they turn into cancer. If you treat these cell changes, you may prevent cervical cancer.

Symptoms of Cervical Cancer may include:

  1. Bleeding from the vagina that is not normal, such as bleeding between menstrual periods, after sex, or after menopause.
  2. Persistent abnormal discharge.

Cervical cancer is the easiest gynecologic cancer to prevent, with regular screening tests and follow-up. Two screening tests can help prevent cervical cancer or find it early:

  1. The Pap test (or Pap smear) looks for precancers, cell changes on the cervix that might become cervical cancer if they are not treated appropriately.
  2. The HPV test looks for the virus (human papillomavirus) that can cause these cell changes.

When to Get Screened

You should start getting regular Pap tests at age 21. The Pap test, which screens for cervical cancer, is one of the most reliable and effective cancer screening tests available. The Pap test is the best way to find cervical cell changes that can lead to cervical cancer. Regular Pap tests almost always show these cell changes before they turn into cancer. It's important to follow up with your doctor after any abnormal Pap test result so you can treat abnormal cell changes. This may help prevent cervical cancer.

Treatment-

In spite of being a fatal ailment, over the years various treatments have evolved that deal with this problem effectively. Some of them are:

1. Surgery: One of the effective and oft availed treatment to cure cervical cancer is surgery. Depending on the stage on which the disease is detected, doctors may suggest for a hysterectomy or removing the pelvic nymph nodes.

2. Chemotherapy: This has emerged as the most sought after way of treating any form of cancer. The abnormal growth of cells that triggers cancer in the first place is deterred in this method by administering drugs to destroy them.

4271 people found this helpful

Cervical Smear - Know The Details About It!

Dr. Rashmi Chahar Khandelwal 90% (16 ratings)
MS - Obstetrics and Gynaecology, MBBS
Gynaecologist, Agra
Cervical Smear - Know The Details About It!

A cervical smear test is often known as a Pap test and is done to establish the changes that might have occurred in cells of the cervix. A small sample of cells is taken from the surface of the cervix and is tested for any abnormalities. The sample is spread on a slide or in some cases mixed with a liquid fixative and studied under a microscope. It is one of the most popular methods to test the abnormalities in your cells and can pinpoint point cervical cancers.

About the test:

A typical cervical smear or Pap test is done to identify the changes that have happened to the cells of the cervix. Diagnosing them early can be beneficial in many ways and can lower your chance of cervical cancerPAP smear or a cervical smear is a screening test for cervical cancer. For other cases, once the results of the cell growth are identified it is safe to seek other tests and medical options for diagnosis.

The procedure of typical Pap smear:

The test is mostly recommended when you do not have the periods as the blood can interfere with the results. Also, before taking the test discuss with your doctor about the medications you are taking and in case you are under any birth control pills. No other special preparations are needed for the Pap test. Feel free to discuss with your doctor about the impact the test will have on you or on the painlevels, etc.The test is done by inserting a speculum into the vagina, which spreads it further. Later, a cotton swab is inserted to get the samples of cells from your cervix. The cells from the vagina are also collected in some cases and tested accordingly.

The risks involved:

There no chances of risks when you go for such tests. You might feel a bit of pressure in your vaginal region and may experience a small bleeding after the testing. However, this is extremely normal. Also, there is no pain involved. If you experience heavy period and blood loss, you might experience minor discomfort when the test is being done.

The final result:

Once the test is done, the results would be available usually within a week. The results can be categorized into normal and abnormal. If your cells are normal and no abnormality is found then the condition is termed as a normal result. In the case of abnormality in the cell structure, then it requires further evaluation and diagnosis to rule out cancer.

4390 people found this helpful

Pap Test - All About It!

Dr. Shantha Rama Rao 90% (125 ratings)
MD, DGO, MBBS
Gynaecologist, Chennai
Pap Test - All About It!

The Pap Smear Test or the Pap Test is a screening test for cervical cancer. This test helps in detecting the possible growth and presence of precancerous as well as cancerous cells within the cervix - the opening of the uterus. This test was named after the doctor who discovered its use when it comes to detecting the signs of the early onset of this kind of cancer. Let us find out more about the Pap Smear Test.

Reasons: The main reason behind getting a Pap Smear Test done on a regular basis is to rule out any risk or sign of cervical cancer. Also, it can help in detecting the 40 sexually transmitted viruses that may be lurking around in your system. It is a fact that genital warts are born from the presence of the Human Papillomavirus or HPV which can be of 100 different types - out of which 40 lead to STDs. These STDs can be the start point of cervical cancer.

HPV and the Pap Smear test: The Pap Smear Test may not be able to detect the exact kind of virus, but it can easily detect any cellular growth and changes that may be caused due to the virus. This helps in homing on to the risk or the beginning of cancer. In case this is detected, then the treatment can start before the problem becomes too difficult to manage.

Candidates: The perfect candidates for the Pap Smear Test include women who have crossed the age of 21 years or above. Also, women who have a weak immune system due to the presence of the HIV virus also need to get this test done regularly as they are prone to the risk of contracting cancer and infections, more than others. Once a woman over 30 years of age have had three normal Pap Smear readings in a row, she can ask her doctor to schedule her for a Pap Smear Test once in five years.

Preparation: To begin with, you must ensure that you are not menstruating on the day of the test, in which case it will have to be rescheduled. Avoid having sex at least a few nights before the test as well.

Procedure: The procedure for the test is pretty quick, but a little uncomfortable. The doctor will ask you to lie down before putting your legs up in stirrups and then insert a speculum into the vagina so as to extract sample cells for testing. The scraping action may cause mild pain later.

Get in touch with your doctor about getting regular Pap Smears to rule out the possibility of cervical cancer.

2543 people found this helpful

Cervical Cancer - Causes, Symptoms & Treatment Options For It!

MBBS, MS - General Surgery, Senior Residency Training Program (Surgical Oncology), Fellowship in Cancer Surgery
Oncologist, Mumbai
Cervical Cancer - Causes, Symptoms & Treatment Options For It!

Cervical cancer occurs when the cells of the cervix grow in an abnormal manner and affect other tissues and organs of the body. When it turns out to be invasive, this cancer adversely affects the deeper tissues of the cervix and might spread on to other parts of the body as well. It develops slowly, so it provides enough opportunities for prevention through early detection and treatment. Most of the women happen to be in their 20s and 30s when they get diagnosed with cancer in their cervix.

Causes

Let us look at the possible causes behind the occurrence of cervical cancer. They include:

  • Usually, this type of cancer begins when healthy cells develop a genetic change over a period of time, which causes them to turn into abnormal cells
  • Cervical cancer can also be caused as a result of other factors like the environment in which women live and their lifestyle choices
  • Having sex at an early age also increases the risk of developing Human Papillomavirus, which in turn could lead to cancer
  • A weak immune system due to some other health problem can also let women have HPV

Symptoms

Cervical cancer in this early stage does not come up with any kinds of signs and symptoms. The symptoms of the more advanced stage of cervical cancer include:

  • Bleeding from the vagina after intercourse
  • Women might even notice blood oozing out from vagina between periods or after menopause
  • Pelvic pain or can even come across pain while having sexual intercourse

Treatment

Treatment for Cervical Cancer depends upon several factors like the stage of cancer, other health issues that a woman might be going through and of course, individual preferences. The usual methods of treatment include:

Surgery: Cervical cancer, which is developed at an early stage, usually gets treated with the help of surgery, which aims to remove the uterus, known as a hysterectomy. Surgery can help cure early-stage cervical cancer and thus prevent recurrence. The doctor might recommend:

  • Simple Hysterectomy: Here, the cervix and uterus are removed along with cancer. This procedure is suggested at the early stage of cancer.
  • Radical Hysterectomy: Here, the cervix, uterus along with the part of vagina and lymph nodes in the area are removed with cancer.
  • Radiation Therapy: Radiation therapy makes use of high-powered energy beams like X-rays or protons, for killing the cancer cells. This can be used along with chemotherapy prior to the surgery to shrink a tumour or after surgery to kill off any cancer cell that might remain. Radiation therapy can be given in the following ways:
  1. Externally by way of directing a radiation beam at the affected area of the body.
  2. Internally by placing a device filled up with radioactive material inside a woman’s vagina for a few minutes.
2899 people found this helpful
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