How to Detect Cervical Cancer Early?

Q:

How can I detect cervical cancer early?

A:

As cervical cancer is a female disease that develops in the uterus, all women are confronting the risk for it. The cancer occurs most often in women over 30. Around 12,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer in the United States each year. Fortunately, the disease can be prevented in its precancerous period. There are two types of tests you can have for the prevention – the Pap test ( Pap smear) and human papilloma virus (HPV) test.

A Pap test is an exam the doctor uses to test for abnormality in the cervix. It takes around 10 – 20 minutes and is usually done in the doctor’s office. At first, your doctor inserts a metal tool into your vagina to widen the vaginal walls. Then he uses a swab to take a sample of cervical cells. The sample is sent to a laboratory to review. The only thing you do after that is to wait for the result.

Most cervical cancers are caused by HPV, so a HPV test helps to prevent the cancer or to detect the cancer early. It is more sensitive than the traditional Pap test. In other word, it is able to detect more cervical abnormalities early.

Both the two tests can facilitate the prevention of cervical cancer. Women, especially women over 30, should have regular Pap or HPV tests to prevent the disease.

 

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* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.