Solving cervical cancer in women: Screening and HPV vaccines

The most effective way to prevent cervical cancer, which occurs as a result of long-term infection with high-risk Human papillomavirus (HPV) viruses, is the application of protective vaccines developed against this virus. Saying that the HPV vaccine should ideally be administered before the first sexual intercourse, Gynecology and Obstetrics Specialist Assoc. Dr. Eralp Başer, “HPV virus is usually encountered within a few years following the first sexual intercourse. HPV virus Even if it settles in the cervix, it is usually completely eliminated from the body in the following 12 – 24 months. However, in some people, the virus cannot be eliminated from the body and may pose a risk of cervical cancer.

Scanning: Why and how is it done?

Cervical cancer is among the most common gynecological cancers. Today, it is known that the most important cause of cervical cancer is the HPV virus. Thanks to regular screening tests, precancerous conditions are detected early and treatment can be provided before cancer occurs. Screening is done with a gynecological examination. With the help of a soft brush applied to the cervix, the cells in that area are collected.

What is HPV? How is it found? Symptoms, treatment and vaccines

The method in which these cells are spread and examined on a microscopy glass is called the pap-smear test, the method in which the DNA of the HPV virus – if present – ​​is detected within the cells is called the HPV-DNA test. Cervical cancer screening should start from the age of 21 in sexually active women. Between the ages of 21 and 29, a pap-smear test is performed every 3 years. After the age of 30, HPV-DNA and pap-smear tests should be applied together every 5 years. In addition, pap-smear test alone can be applied every 3 years.

If in doubt, a colposcopy should be performed.

According to the results of the screening test, if a precancerous condition is suspected, colposcopy is performed. The physician performing the colposcopy must be specially trained and experienced in this field. During colposcopy, the cervix is ​​observed in detail. Small biopsies are taken from suspicious areas and pathological examination is performed. This procedure usually takes 5-10 minutes and does not require anesthesia.

If a condition with a risk of cancer is detected in the future as a result of the pathological examination, cervical LEEP or conization procedures are performed, in which the risky area is cleaned. When cervical cancer screenings are done regularly and precancerous conditions are intervened early, the risk of cancer formation is almost non-existent.

Causes and treatment options of cervical cancer in 8 questions

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