Cervical cancer has its origin in the abnormal cells present in the cervix. It is highly advised for women to go through its screening at planned and regular intervals to detect the presence of any such abnormalities. With the screening, it will be easier to detect cancer at the early stages, which will aid in its proper and effective treatment. In some cases, the screening will also help in controlling these abnormalities right where they began and prevent them from growing into cancer.
Why it is important to undergo tests?
The abnormal cervical cells will be easily detected with the help of timely cervical screening. It can also detect early cervical cancer or precancerous cervical lesions if present. Awareness to undergo these tests on a regular basis will lower down the number of cervical cancers diagnosed and will also control the death rate that arise from this deadly disease.
Different types of screening tests
Commonly, two types of tests are conducted for cervical cancer screening:
- Pap test- This test is also commonly known as the Pap Smear. It is done to detect any abnormal changes in the cervix along with detecting precancerous and cancerous cells. Under this procedure, cell samples are taken from the cervix and sent to the laboratory for further analysis.
- HPV test- This test helps in detecting the high-risk HPV types present in the cervical cells, which can increase your cervical cancer risk.
What are the screening guidelines?
The age of the female and their health conditions will determine the frequency of the screening tests.
Here are some of the general guidelines for the test:
- A Pap test in a span of every three years is recommended for women in the age group of 21-29 years. HPV tests are not recommended for this group. If the pap test results are abnormal, the doctor may recommend an HPV test.
- Women between the age group of 30-65 may undergo Co-Testing.
- Women are recommended frequent screening if they are at a high risk of cervical cancer due to factors like a suppressed immune system, extensive use of steroids, or a history of organ transplants.
- Even after having a child, a woman is recommended to undergo screening.
What is the best time for screening?
The best time to go through the cervical cancer screening is between ten to twenty days after the first day of the last menstrual cycle.
In this regard, having a good gynecologist by your side is highly beneficial. So, when searching for a gynecologist, look to your search engine and search for things like gynecologist near me or womens’ health doctor + “your city” to research all your local gynecologist and womens’ health doctors in your area.