Cervical cancer is the fourth most fatal and the most common type of cancer among women. In cervical cancer, the cervix cells start growing and multiplying uncontrollably. The most common cause of cervical cancer is the human papillomavirus (HPV) which targets the outer area of the cervix and continues spreading to other organs. The disease spreads slowly, and at first, patients do not experience any bleeding or pain. Over time, the infection spreads and starts interfering with normal body functions. However, by the time you experience pain or bleeding, cancer cells have already spread to other parts, making treatment challenging.
Most experts suggest regular cervical cancer screening to stay safe from such a deadly disease. A cervical screening test helps timely identify any abnormalities in the cervix and treat them before they can cause any severe complications. So, the screening test helps in the prevention of cervical cancer.
Table of Contents
- 1 Who needs cervical screening?
- 2 What are the causes of cervical cancer?
- 3 What are the symptoms of HPV in females?
- 4 How do I prepare for cervical screening?
- 5 What treatments are used for cervical cancer?
- 6 Pap Smear Test FAQs
- 7 Book an Appointment
Who needs cervical screening?
Cervical screening is beneficial for every woman after a certain age. Women between the ages of 21 and 29 should go for a pap smear test every 3 years. Women between the ages 25 and 29 should also get an HPV test for checking HPV cells and cervical cancer prevention. However, women between ages 30 to 65 have 3 testing options. They have the option to combine a pap smear test with HPV every 5 years. Alternatively, they can have a pap smear every 3 years or an HPV test every 5 years.
Generally, any woman above the age of 20 can go for cervical screening even if they are in good health apparently.
What are the causes of cervical cancer?
One of the primary cervical cancer causes is the human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is a common virus found in the mouth, throat, vagina, anus, cervix, vulva, and groin. This virus is also found on the skin surface, and its most common mode of transmission is intercourse. While getting HPV is common for sexually active people, some women go on to develop cervical cancer due to prolonged infection.
What are the symptoms of HPV in females?
Some symptoms of HPV in females are as follows:
- Abnormal bleeding
- Bleeding vaginally after intercourse
- Spotting between menstruation
- Continuous watery blood vaginal discharge
- Pain in the pelvis and lower back
- Bleeding or discomfort during or after intercourse
While these symptoms are common, they usually do not appear in the early stages. So, it is advised to schedule regular cervical cancer screening tests to identify the problem in time.
How do I prepare for cervical screening?
There are no strict instructions to prepare for a cervical screening test. However, if your doctor asks you to follow pre-procedure instructions, you should follow them.
You should be relaxed at the time of your cervical screening test to minimize physical discomfort. Moreover, wear comfortable clothes for the test. The procedure may feel slightly awkward since the doctor will insert a device in your vagina to collect a sample. So, you should be mentally prepared for the test.
What treatments are used for cervical cancer?
Different treatments are available for cervical cancer. However, a doctor will recommend a suitable one after identifying any pre-cancer abnormalities in the cervix and performing a colposcopy. Some common treatments for cervical cancer are as follows:
- Radiation therapy
If your test displays any abnormalities, you should be referred to a gynecologist or an oncologist. Usually, an oncologist creates a treatment plan for a cervical cancer patient. They decide a treatment plan according to the patient’s age, size of cancerous cells, cancer stage, and overall physical health.
Pap Smear Test FAQs
How much does cervical cancer screening cost?
The price of cervical cancer screening is not fixed because it depends on different variable factors. One of these factors is the type of test chosen for screening. So, if you want to know the exact cost of cervical cancer screening in your case, you should consult an expert.
What tests are done to check for cervical cancer?
Typically, a Pap smear or Pap test is performed to check for precancerous cells in the cervix. If an abnormality is detected, the expert may also recommend an HPV test to detect the human papillomavirus in the body.
Is cervical cancer screening the same as pap smear?
A Pap smear and cervical cancer screening test are the same in terms of procedure. An expert takes a cell sample from the patient’s cervix during both tests. However, a Pap smear looks for abnormal cells, and cervical cancer screening identifies HPV infection in the cervix.
Is cervical cancer screening painful?
Most patients find cervical cancer screening a little uncomfortable and embarrassing, but the procedure is not painful and doesn’t hurt. However, if a patient feels pain during the procedure, they should immediately inform the doctor.
Book an Appointment
Remember that initial consultation is essential before undergoing a cervical cancer screening test. It is necessary because it enables you to know more about the test and its benefits. Also, if you have any query or ambiguity regarding the procedure, you may clear it in this session. Our board-certified doctors are always here to assist you with your cervical screening. We care for our patients, so we have made it easy for you to book a consultation with us by simply filling out the online form or giving us a call.