Cervical cancer can be prevented
Human papilloma detection now available
Cervical cancer Detection/Prevention
Cervical cancer is one of the commonest causes of cancer in females. Recent advances in medicine have shown that in majority of cases this cancer is caused by Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) With new methods in molecular diagnostics, it is now possible to detect infection by this virus. Excellent vaccines are also available for prevention of infection.
Cervical cancer is a cancer that affects the lower part of the uterus. This type of cancer is common in young and middle age. The process of cancer development starts many years (10-20 yrs) before cancer becomes symptomatic. Since the cervix is not seen by the naked eye, cancer remains unnoticed until it has progressed and spread. Once cervical cancer spreads treatment may be difficult and cure may not be always possible. The only way is to detect it early. PAP smear examination every 3 years has been the recommendation for early diagnosis.
What is PAP smear ?
PAP smear is a technique where the gynecologist collects Cervical swab by internal examination. This swab is smeared on a slide and microscopic examination done to detect early changes of cancer. If these changes are found, then the cervix/uterus is removed and cancer prevented.
What caused cervical cancer ?
It has been known since long that cervical cancer is more common in married females. It was thought that sperms may be one of the causes of cancer as cervical cancer was seen more commonly in females who were sexually more active and had more that one partners. All this has changed.. It is now established that cervical cancer in majority of cases is caused by Human Pappiloma Virus.
How do you get infection by Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) ?
HPV virus is transmitted by sexual intercourse. Wearing a condom does not always prevent it. More number of sexual partners the more the chance that you may get infected. Besides women, men also get infected and transmit this virus to their sexual partners.
How do you come to know that you have got infected by HPV ?
HPV infection can be silent. It may not produce any symptoms. Some genotypes may cause genital warts. These are non cancerous.
Is HPV infection always dangerous ?
There are almost 100 genotypes of HPV. Of these 60 % infect the skin to produce warts. 40 % are sexually transmitted. Only certain genotypes (16 and 18) are dangerous. The other genotypes do not cause cancer.
After how many years of HPV infection does cervical cancer develop ?
The time from infection to cancer development can be 10-20 years or more. Not every woman who gets infected develops cancer.
How can HPV infection be detected ?
We have sophisticated molecular methods to detect HPV. A special collection and transport kit is available. A cervical brush sample is taken and inoculated in a liquid transport medium. This is used for molecular testing. The same sample can also be used for PAP smear examination.
Which HPV genotypes are detected ?
Genotype 16, 18 which and other high risk genotypes are detected. This is done using the award winning GeneXpert platform from Cephid. Genotype 16/18 are signaled separately.
Who should be tested ?
HPV test is recommended for any adult female who is sexually active. The need is more if you have had multiple sexual partners or if your partner has had multiple partners.
How long does the test take ?
The reports are available the next working day.
How much does it cost ?
We have a introductory price of Rs. 5500/- .
What is done of the test is positive ?
If the test is positive, colposcopy is recommended for detailed observation and biopsy of the cervix. More rigorous followup by cytology and biopsy is recommended if cancer is not detected the first time.
Are there any vaccines available to prevent HPV ?
Yes excellent vaccines are available. The right age to get vaccinated is during teens before commencement of any sexual activity. Please note that vaccination is not useful if the test is positive.
CERVICAL CANCER IS A DEADLY DISEASE IF NOT DETECTED EARLY