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Diagnosing and treating cervical cancer



Cervical cancer is cancer anywhere in the cervix, the opening between the vagina and uterus (womb). The HPV virus causes most cancers of the cervix.


Cervical screening


Cervical screening (smear tests) are offered to all women aged between 25 and 64. It is a test to help prevent cancer by checking for the human papillomavirus virus (HPV) which can cause changes to the cells of your cervix. Smear tests are not used to diagnose cancer.


If HPV is not found then you will not need any further tests. If HPV is found during your smear test and the cells of the cervix have changed, you will need treatment to prevent them from turning into cervical cancer.


Pelvic examination


You may have a pelvic examination if you are experiencing symptoms of cervical cancer. A pelvic exam is so your doctor can take a look and feel at what is going on in your body.


Colposcopy


A colposcopy is a test to examine the surface of your cervix. You may need a colposcopy if abnormal cells have been found after your cervical screening test or if you are experiencing symptoms.


A colposcopy is performed using a small microscope (called a colposcope) which is used to examine the cells. During your colposcopy, your consultant gynaecologist can take a biopsy to further examine in more detail.


If the biopsy reveals cancer cells are present then you will need further treatment.


Scans


If cancer cells have been found in the cervix you will have scans to determine the size of the cancer.

  • MRI scan

  • CT scan

The scans produce very details images to see how big the cancer is to enable your health professional team to plan the best course of treatment for you.


Blood tests


If you are diagnosed with cervical cancer you will have blood tests to check your red blood cells and white blood cells.


Hysteroscopy


A hysteroscopy is small telescope with a light and camera on the end used to take a look inside your uterus (womb). This may be done to investigate your symptoms or if you are considering trachelectomy surgery which is treatment to remove the cervix.


Treatments for cervical cancer


Treating cervical cancer will depend on the stage of cancer.

  • Early stage cervical cancer

If the cancer is small and only in the cervix you may be able to be treatment with, large loop excision of the transformation zone (LLETZ) where a thin wire loop with an electrical current is used to remove the affected area of the cervix, a cone biopsy where a cone-shaped piece of tissue from your cervix, a trachelectomy where the cervix is removed or a hysterectomy where the uterus is removed.


Depending on your circumstances, you may need your lymph nodes removed or chemotherapy as well.

  • Advanced cervical cancer

If the cervical cancer is large and has spread you may be treated with chemotherapy, radiotherapy and have surgery to remove your lymph nodes.


How do I book a consultation?


You can book a consultation with Evi Bakali via her secretary or direct with Spire Healthcare.


Appointments are available via private medical insurance or paying for yourself. Click here for the most up to date self funding fees and for private medical insurance information.

Visit Jo's Trust for more information on cervical cancer