Certolab Izcalli Medical Laboratory, Committed to the Timely Detection of Cervical Cancer to Save the Lives of Mexican Women
Cancer is a disease that occurs when the cells of a tissue begin to multiply abnormally, giving rise to the formation of malignant tissues called tumors, which destroy adjacent tissues, causing the death of the affected organs.
The NIH (National Cancer Institute) explains that cervical cancer is a cancer that originates in the cells of the cervix. It is also known as cervical cancer or uterine cancer. The cervix is the final, lowest, and narrowest portion of the uterus (womb) that connects the uterus to the vagina (birth canal). Like all cancers, cervical cancer usually develops slowly over time and its development is classified into four stages, with the last stage, or stage 4, being when the cancer has spread through a local invasion of lymph nodes or through the bloodstream, known as metastasis.
What Are the Causes of Cervical Cancer?
In Mexico, according to IMSS reports, the frequency of diagnoses of cervical cancer is concentrated in women aged 30 and over. The reports identify that the women most prone to suffering from this type of cancer are mainly those who started sexual relations before 18 years of age, have had more than 3 sexual partners, have had more than 3 births, smoke, have malnutrition problems and/or have human papillomavirus (HPV) infection in the cervix. It is the second most diagnosed type of cancer after breast cancer and is also the second leading cause of cancer death in Mexican women, with one of the highest mortality rates among diagnosed women. The main reason for this high mortality is late diagnosis, since most women do not have signs or symptoms of pre-cancer and, on the other hand, the cause of a symptom may be a different medical condition that is not cancer and is often overlooked.
The cells of the cervix do not suddenly become cancerous, but first the normal cells of the cervix gradually develop abnormal changes that are called precancerous changes called cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN), squamous intraepithelial lesion (SIL), and dysplasia. Over time, if the abnormal cells are not destroyed or removed, they may become cancerous, multiply, and spread deeper into the cervix and surrounding areas.
The goal of cervical cancer screening is to detect pre-cancer and cancer at an early stage when it is most treatable and curable. Getting routinely scheduled screening tests can help save lives by preventing cervical cancer. Precancerous changes can be detected by Pap smear and treated to prevent cancer from developing. The HPV test looks for infection with high-risk HPV types because they are more likely to progress to precancer and cervical cancer. It is important to perform these tests periodically in laboratories that guarantee the veracity of the results, such as Certolab Izcalli, a Medical Laboratory that has a certified quality certificate under international standards.
When to Test for Cervical Cancer?
The Ministry of Health in Mexico recommends that Papanicolaou tests be carried out at most every 12 months for two consecutive years for women over 25 years of age, and after the results are negative, they should be routinely carried out at most every 3 years. In this test, cells are obtained from the cervix to see if there are changes that, if left untreated, can lead to cervical cancer. This test is also called a Pap smear, or cervical, vaginal, or cervicovaginal cytology. With this test it is possible to find precancerous cells and cancer cells in the cervix. Sometimes conditions that are not cancer are found, such as an infection or inflammation.
Tests for the detection of human papillomavirus (HPV) are recommended every 3 years between 25 and 34 years of age after two consecutive tests have been performed for 2 years with negative results. In the case of women between 35 and 64 years of age, it is recommended to carry out HPV tests every 5 years after 2 consecutive negatives in two years, and to rotate them with the Papanicolaous every 3 years. In the event that a pap smear is abnormal, it will be necessary to carry out additional tests such as colposcopy and others. The Certolab Izcalli Medical Laboratory provides these services with professionalism and excellent quality and veracity of results, since they are interpreted by specialists and certified pathologists.
Papanicolaou and Colposcopy Tests in Cuautitlán Izcalli
Cervical cancer is curable if it is detected on time, which is why it is vitally important to carry out preventive studies (especially HPV, Papanicolaou and colposcopy tests) in the presence of any symptoms and not wait for them to worsen; however, in early stages cervical cancer may not present symptoms. Therefore, prevention is the only effective strategy to combat this disease and the repercussions that it has not only for those who suffer from it, but also for everyone around them.