Cervical Cancer Diagnosis

Explore advanced cervical cancer treatment options available in China.

Why going to China for cancer treatment?

Screening

Screening tests can help detect cervical cancer and precancerous cells that may one day develop into cervical cancer. Most medical organizations suggest beginning screening for cervical cancer and precancerous changes at age 21. The tests are usually repeated every few years.

Screening tests include:

  • Pap test. During a Pap test, a member of your health care team scrapes and brushes cells from your cervix. The cells are then examined in a lab to check for cells that look different.

    A Pap test can detect cancer cells in the cervix. It also can detect cells that have changes that increase the risk of cervical cancer. These are sometimes called precancerous cells.

  • HPV DNA test. The HPV DNA test involves testing cells from the cervix for infection with any of the types of HPV that are most likely to lead to cervical cancer.

Diagnosis

If you might have cervical cancer, testing is likely to start with a thorough exam of your cervix. A special magnifying instrument, called a colposcope, is used to check for signs of cancer.

During the colposcopic exam, a doctor removes a sample of cervical cells for lab testing. To get the sample, you might need:

  • Punch biopsy, which uses a sharp tool to pinch off small samples of cervical tissue.
  • Endocervical curettage, which uses a small, spoon-shaped instrument, called a curet, or a thin brush to scrape a tissue sample from the cervix.

If the results of these tests are concerning, you might have more tests. These might include:

  • Electrical wire loop, which uses a thin, low-voltage electrified wire to take a small tissue sample. Generally, this is done in a doctor’s office. You receive medicine to numb the area to lessen any discomfort during the procedure. This test also may be called a loop electrosurgical excision procedure, also known as LEEP.
  • Cone biopsy, also called conization, is a procedure that allows your doctor to take deeper layers of cervical cells for testing. A cone biopsy is often done in a hospital. You may receive medicine to put you in a sleep-like state so that you won’t be aware during the procedure.

Staging

If you’re diagnosed with cervical cancer, you might need other tests to find out the extent of the cancer, also called the stage. Your health care team uses the information from staging tests to plan your treatment.

Tests used for cervical cancer staging include:

  • Imaging tests. Imaging tests make pictures of the body. They can show the location and size of the cancer. Tests might include X-ray, MRICT and positron emission tomography (PET) scan.
  • Visual examination of your bladder and rectum. Your doctor may use special scopes to look for signs of cancer inside your bladder and rectum.

The stages of vaginal cancer range from 1 to 4. The lowest number means that the cancer is only in the cervix. As the numbers get higher, the cancer is more advanced. A stage 4 cervical cancer may have grown to involve nearby organs or spread to other areas of the body.

Contact a specialist