Cervical cancer is a type of cancer that occurs in the cells of the cervix – the lower part of the uterus that connects to the vagina. Cervical cancer is the 2nd most common female cancer in women aged 15 to 65 years.
When exposed to HPV (Human Papilloma virus) a woman’s immune system typically prevents the virus from doing harm, however the virus survives for years, that causes some cells on the surface to become cancer cells.
Early stage cervical cancer generally produces no signs or symptoms.
Symptoms of more advanced cervical cancer include – watery discharge with foul odor, vaginal bleeding after intercourse, between periods or after menopause, pelvic pain.
Cervical cancer can be prevented by early diagnosis.
As per leading health organizations like ACOG, ACS, ASCP & ASCCP it is recommended that PAP (LBC) + HPV together (co- testing) is the preferred approach for cervical cancer screening.
This practice of LBC + HPV is known as co-testing.
While with LBC alone, there are chances of 18.6% of cancers being missed and with HPV, 12.2% cancers could be missed, co-testing ensures a better detection rate with only 5.5% of cancers being missed.
Screening Recommendations for cervical cancer for different age-groups are as follows: