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Cervical Smear & HPV

Cervical cancer/cervical smear tests

In 2003, approximately 2800 women in the UK had a cervical cancer diagnosis: 95% of these women were under 35 years old. Cervical smear tests (also called pap smears) are used to detect abnormal cells in your cervix (the entrance to your womb).

 

Your IPSA cervical cancer/smear test consultation

Your female IPSA clinic physician will see you immediately, and she will fully examine you (in our clean, private, confidential setting), and encourage you to ask questions during your full-length cervical cancer consultation, offering you a private cervical smear test at the time of your consultation. With IPSA’s person-centred approach, you will always be treated holistically, and this means that your IPSA clinician will fully discuss your family history with you, and will talk through any risk factors with you, involving you in the process. With her special interest in family planning, your IPSA doctor is an expert in undertaking cervical cancer consultations and smear tests. She will discuss and explain your results and any findings directly with you, and will refer you, if required, for further investigations, which will be based on the outcome of your cervical cancer consultation.

 

Symptoms of cervical cancer

The UK has successfully reduced the number of cases of cervical cancer and deaths from cervical cancer by increasing the level of screening and the general awareness of screening in British women.

The following symptoms might be experienced if cervical cancer has developed:

  • Vaginal bleeding after intercourse, after the menopause or between periods
  • A vaginal discharge that has an ‘unpleasant’ smell
  • Pain in the pelvic region or when having sexual intercourse

If you do experience any of the symptoms above, then it is important for you to see your IPSA doctor/consultant gynaecologist as soon as possible. These symptoms are unlikely to be due to cervical cancer, but if they are, then faster treatment results in a better outcome.

 

The causes of cervical cancer: Cervical smears and human papilloma virus (HPV)

A number of risk factors may lead to the development of human papilloma virus (HPV) and thus to an increased likelihood of you developing cervical cancer:

  • Multiple sexual partners
  • Long-term contraceptive pill use
  • Smoking
  • A weak immune system
  • Sexual activity before the age of 17

 

How is cervical cancer diagnosed?

If your cervical screening result comes back as abnormal or if you are experiencing any of the symptoms outlined above, then you will require further tests to be carried out to check for signs of cervical cancer.

  • An additional smear test may be performed by your IPSA practitioner to check if the cells in your cervix have changed from normal cells into pre-cancerous or cancerous ones. With moderate or severe cell changes, or if you have had two smear tests that show mild changes, you will require a colposcopy
  • A colposcopy is a close examination of the cervix. If any abnormal cells are found, then a biopsy (sample) may be taken for additional testing
  • A pelvic or trans-vaginal ultrasound scan may be carried out or an MRI or CT scan

 

Treatments

Depending on the exact stage of the cancer and how far this has spread, there are various treatment options with different success rates. The objective of all treatment is to destroy/remove the abnormal cancerous cells.

 

Surgery

Often, only the affected area needs to be removed if the cervical cancer is caught early enough.

If the cervical cancer has spread, then you may need to undergo a total hysterectomy, which involves removing both of your ovaries and your fallopian tubes, your uterus (womb), the pelvic lymph nodes and all of the surrounding tissues where the cancer may have spread to.

 

Fertility

Your fertility may not be affected if the cervical cancer is caught and treated early enough.

 

Phone your IPSA clinic or book online today for your cervical cancer/smear test IPSA consultation.

Test available from £200
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