Cervical cancer is the fourth most fatal and the most common cancer among women. This condition is characterized by abnormal cell growth in the cervix. However, early detection can improve chances for successful cervical cancer treatment and quicker, smoother recovery.
For this reason, experts suggest regular cervical cancer screening to stay safe from such a deadly disease. A cervical cancer screening test helps timely identify any abnormalities in the cervix and treat them before they can cause any severe complications. This screening test even helps prevent cervical cancer by identifying abnormal cells before they turn cancerous.
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 What are the Symptoms of Cervical Cancer?
- 5 Cervical Cancer Screening Tests
- 6 How much does cervical cancer screening cost?
- 7 Is cervical cancer screening the same as a Pap smear?
- 8 Is cervical cancer screening painful?
- 9 What age is cervical cancer usually diagnosed?
- 10 Book an Appointment
Who Needs Cervical Screening?
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), women should start cervical cancer screening at the age of 21.
- Women between 21 and 29 should undergo a Pap smear test every three years. Women between 25 and 29 should also get an HPV test to check HPV cells and cervical cancer prevention.
- Women between 30 and 65 have three testing options. They have the option to combine a Pap smear test with HPV every five years. Alternatively, they can have a pap smear every three years or an HPV test every five years.
What are the Causes of Cervical Cancer?
One of the primary reasons for cervical cancer is long-term infection with certain strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV). This virus can transmit from one person to another during sexual intercourse. According to reports, more than half of sexually active people get the HPV virus. However, only a few women develop cervical cancer.
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.
What are the Symptoms of Cervical Cancer?
Common symptoms of cervical cancer at its early stages include the following:
- Vaginal bleeding after sexual intercourse
- Vaginal bleeding after menopause
- Unusually heavier or more prolonged periods or vaginal bleeding between periods
- Watery vaginal discharge with a strong odor
- Pain in the pelvis during sexual intercourse
Symptoms of cervical cancer at its advanced stages include the following:
- Bleeding from the rectum during a bowel movement or more painful bowel movements
- Painful or difficulty urinating
- Dull pain in the back
- Abdominal pain
- Swelling in the legs
Cervical Cancer Screening Tests
The two most common screening tests for cervical cancer diagnosis are the HPV test and Pap smear test. Here is a brief description of both these tests.
An HPV test involves checking for virus strains that can affect your cervix. During this test, a sample of cells is taken from the cervix. This sample is analyzed for the presence of high-risk HPV. However, it is essential to note that the presence of HPV doesn’t always mean that you have cervical cancer. Therefore, your doctor may prescribe other tests for a thorough diagnosis.
Pap Smear Test
A Pap test involves collecting cells from the cervix to check for the changes that, if left untreated, could lead to cervical cancer. This test can help find both precancerous and cervical cancer cells.
A Pap smear test involves inserting a speculum to widen the vagina. Then, the practitioner inserts a brush that collects cervical cells. These cells are sent to a lab where they are analyzed for cancer.
In some cases, a cervical screening procedure may involve both HPV and Pap tests for a detailed analysis.
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.
Is cervical cancer screening the same as a 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, patients should immediately inform the doctor if they feel pain during the process.
What age is cervical cancer usually diagnosed?
Cervical cancer is most commonly diagnosed between 35 and 44 years. However, this condition can develop at any age. Women predisposed to developing cervical cancer – due to genetics or other reasons – may have this condition at an early age. Therefore, it is essential to get regularly screened for cervical cancer.
Book an Appointment
Want to get yourself screened for cervical cancer and other abnormalities? Euromed Clinic Dubai is where top-rated medical experts come together to provide optimal solutions for all your medical needs. For more information, call us at +971 4 394 5422. To book a consultation online, fill out the form below.