Cervical Cancer Tests in Cuautitlán at Certolab Haciendas
The detection of cervical cancer normally begins with an abnormal result of a Papanicolaou test, which necessarily implies the performance of complementary tests so that the specialist doctor can diagnose the presence of a pre-cancer or cancer of the cervix.
What Is Cervical Cancer?
Cancer is a disease that occurs when the cells of tissue begin to multiply abnormally, giving rise to the formation of malignant tissues or tumors, which destroy infected and adjacent tissues, causing the death of the affected organs.
The NIH (National Cancer Institute) explains that cervical cancer is cancer that originates in the cells of the cervix. It is also known as cervical cancer or uterine cancer. The cervix or cervix is the final, lower, and narrow 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, when the cancer has spread through a local invasion into regional lymph nodes or via the bloodstream, known as metastasis.
What Are the Causes of Cervical Cancer?
In Mexico, according to data from the IMSS, the frequency of diagnoses of cervical cancer is concentrated in women aged 30 and over, and identifies that the women most likely to have 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 deaths in Mexican women, with one of the highest mortality rates among diagnosed women. The main reason for this high mortality rate is the late diagnosis, as 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.
What Are the Tests for Cervical Cancer Prevention?
Cancer prevention necessitates periodic medical check-ups that include laboratory tests, imaging studies, and office visits (clinical examinations). For this reason, Certolab Haciendas Medical Laboratory and the Ministry of Health in Mexico recommend that from the age of 25 all women should have a Papanicolaou test every 12 months for two consecutive years, and if the results are normal, a maximum every 3 years to at least 64 years of age. This first screening is the key to prevention since the pap smear is a test by which cells are obtained from the cervix to see if there are changes that, if not treated, can cause 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.
The journey begins when an abnormality is detected through the pap smear, then a colposcopy will be necessary to monitor changes in the health of your cervix, vagina, and vulva. Another trigger for this journey may be a positive HPV test result.
Colposcopy is a minimally invasive procedure consisting of observing the tissues of the cervix through a colposcope, a device that works with a magnifying lens similar to a telescope and allows a clear and close view of the structure. of the cervix to recognize and identify lesions caused by the infection. A dilute solution of acetic acid (similar to vinegar) is also applied to identify these lesions to make it easier to see any abnormal areas. If an abnormal area is seen, it is often necessary to remove a small piece of tissue (biopsy) for detailed analysis in a laboratory by a specialist pathologist. A biopsy is the best way to know if an abnormal area is a precancer, true cancer, or neither.
If a biopsy shows that there is cancer, it is up to the treating doctor to request more tests to find out what stage the cancer is in and to prescribe the treatment he/she deems appropriate.
Papanicolaou and Colposcopy Tests in Haciendas de Cuautitlán
Cervical cancer is curable if it is detected on time, which is why it is vitally essential to carry out preventive studies 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. The Certolab Haciendas de Cuautitlán Medical Laboratory has the necessary tests for cervical cancer detection, including Papanicolau and colposcopy, and provides its services with professionalism and excellent quality backed by more than a decade of experience and international certification.