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Cervical Cancer - Diagnosis

Tests and procedures used to diagnose cervical cancer include: 

  • Cervical cancer screening (Pap smear test or HPV test) 
    • Cervical cancer screening tests (Pap smear test or HPV test) help to detect pre-cancer changes. During this examination, a scraping of cells from the surface of the cervix is obtained during a vaginal examination. This is a quick, simple, and painless test. 
    • In general, women with pre-cancer changes do not have any symptoms. If any abnormalities are detected, further investigations such as colposcopy need to be performed. 
  • Colposcopy 
    • A colposcopy is a simple outpatient procedure done using a colposcope (microscope) to check for any abnormal changes of the cervix. A biopsy (a small amount of tissue) may be taken and sent to the laboratory for further evaluation. 

  • Cone biopsy (conisation) or Loop electrosurgical excision surgery (LEEP) 
    • Your doctor may recommend a cone biopsy or a LEEP procedure if there is suspicion of microscopic invasion. Your doctor will discuss with you regarding the suitability of these procedures with you. 
Once cervical cancer is confirmed, further tests may be done to determine the extent (stage) of the cancer and most suitable treatment. The tests may include: 
  • Computed Tomography (CT scan) 
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) 
  • Positron Emission Tomography (PET scan) 
  • An examination under general anaesthesia may be recommended if additional information is required that may affect your treatment.