Who should go for cervical cancer screening?

  • Screening targets women, 25 years or older, who have had sexual intercourse.
  • Screening is recommended regardless of previous HPV vaccination.
  • Screening is for all women, regardless of family history of cancer, history of pregnancy and childbirth, number of sexual partners, method of contraception, and smoking habits.
  • Screening is repeated every five years if the woman remains well, has no abnormal changes in vaginal bleeding or discharge, and has no abnormal cervical findings on routine medical examination.
  • Screening should continue after menopause regardless of cessation of sexual intercourse.
  • Screening can cease if a woman has an operation to remove her uterus.

Timely eradication of CIN

  • Cancer development can be prevented only if CIN is treated early.
  • In 75 per cent of cases, grade-2 or grade-3 CIN can be effectively treated with a simple surgery known as LEEP or Loop Electro-Excision Procedure.
  • This is an office procedure done with local anaesthetic.
  • Approximately 25 per cent of cases of grade-3 CIN are treated with a surgery known as cone biopsy. In this procedure, a central portion of the cervix is removed. In most instances, the surgery is done with laser surgery in an operation suite.
  • More than 90 per cent of cases have successful cure of CIN with one treatment only. The remaining cases are cleared of CIN in subsequent treatments.

If I do a cervical cancer screening test at 5-year intervals, should I continue with my yearly gynaecological check-ups?

You should not change your routine visit to your gynaecologist. Although your cervical cancer screening is done at 5-year interval, you still need to see your gynaecologist for a number of reasons, for example:

  • screening of other diseases;
  • managing menstrual problems, contraception, or fertility issues;
  • treatment of genital infections; and
  • managing menopausal issues.

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