The Pap test is recommended for all women between the ages of 21 and 65 years old. If your Pap test results are normal, next Pap test is after 3 years. If you are 30 years old or older, you may choose to have an HPV test along with the Pap test, cells collected during the Pap test will be tested for HPV. Both tests can be performed at the same time; called co-testing. If your test results are normal, next testing is after 5 years.
If you are older than 65 and have had normal Pap test results for several years, or if you have had your cervix removed as part of a total hysterectomy for non-cancerous conditions, like fibroids, Pap test or any other screening is not needed anymore.
Age 21. Women aged <21 years should not be screened regardless of the age of sexual initiation and other behavior-related risk factors.
HPV co-testing should not be used for women aged <30 years
a) PAP test (Cervical cytology)
b) VIA (Visual inspection with acetic acid)
c) VILI (Visual inspection with lugol's iodine)
d) Visual inspection of cervix
VIA has demonstrated high sensitivity for detecting CIN and cervical cancer. VIA has the advantage of requiring only low-technology equipment and the result is available within a couple of minutes. Among developing countries that usually have low resources, however, Pap smear programs are complex and costly to run and have failed to reach a significant proportion of women. Even under ideal conditions, false-negative rates for pap smear as high as 29 percent have been reported. VIA have several screening advantages – minimal requirement of infrastructure and equipment, immediate result, preliminary screening of high risk cases for referral and, not the least, it can be performed by trained paramedical workers.
Several types of biopsies can be used to diagnose cervical pre-cancers and cancers.
The first step in finding cervical cancer is often an abnormal Pap test result or any of the screening methods like VIA, VILI etc. This will lead to further tests which can diagnose cervical cancer. Cervical cancer may also be suspected if symptoms like abnormal vaginal bleeding or pain during intercourse are present.
Colposcopic biopsy: If screening test is positive, next test is colposcopy. With the help of colposcope examination the cervix will be done. The colposcope is an instrument that has magnifying lenses. If an abnormal area is seen with colposcope on the cervix, a biopsy will be done. A biopsy is the only way to tell for certain whether cervical cancer is present or not.
Endocervical curettage: Sometimes the transformation zone cannot be seen with the colposcope and something else must be done to check that area for cancer. This means taking a scraping of the endocervix by inserting a narrow instrument into the endocervical canal.
Cone biopsy/ Conization: Cone-shaped piece of tissue from the cervix is removed. The tissue removed in the cone includes the transformation zone. A cone biopsy can also be used as a treatment to completely remove many pre-cancers and some very early cancers. The methods commonly used for cone biopsies are the loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP), also called the large loop excision of the transformation zone (LLETZ), and the cold knife cone biopsy.
Please read patient Testimonial on Successful Cervical Cancer Treatment in Mumbai: Cervical Cancer Completely Cured
"Authored By Dr.Niraj Mahajan"
MD- Gynecologist, Laparoscopic Surgeon, Uro-gynecologist , Infertility specialist & Cosmetic Gynecologist.Read more [+]