Cervical Cancer in Wellesley, MA
What is Cervical Cancer?
Cervical cancer is cancer that starts in the cells of the cervix, which is the lower narrow end of the uterus in a female. It is the place where a baby grows during pregnancy and connects the vagina with the uterus.
Protect your health and prevent cervical cancer with About Women by Women in Wellesley, MA. We’re here to offer you expert guidance, screenings, and support. Your well-being matters, and early detection can save lives. Call (781) 263-0033 to schedule your appointment today!
What is Cervical Cancer Screening?
Cervical cancer screening is looking for cancer before you have any symptoms. Cancer found early may be easier to treat. These screenings are typically done at a well-woman visit annually. If you have recently had a screening, you may not need one for another three to five years.
If it is time for a screening, your OBGYN may recommend one of the following:
- Pap test or Pap smear – a gentle scrape of the outside and inside of the cervix to collect samples of cells for testing for cancer or infection
- The human papillomavirus (HPV) test – checks cells for infection with high-risk HPV types that can cause cervical cancer
- The HPV/Pap cotest – uses an HPV test and Pap test together to check for both high-risk HPV and cervical cell changes
You can discuss with your OBGYN which test you prefer. You will be made to feel comfortable during the screening and it only lasts a minute or less. It is a proven way to reduce the risk of cancer.
Why is Screening Recommended?
Cervical cancer found at an early stage is usually easier to treat. By the time symptoms appear, cervical cancer may have begun to spread, making treatment more difficult.
The cervix is made of two parts with two different types of cells:
- Endocervix – opening of the cervix that leads into the uterus and has glandular cells
- Exocervix (or ectocervix) – outer part of the cervix that can be seen by your OBGYN during a speculum exam and has squamous cells
The place where these two cell types meet in the cervix is called the transformation zone. The exact location of the transformation zone changes as you get older and if you give birth. Most cervical cancers begin in the cells in the transformation zone, so it is important to go see your OBGYN for a screening.
Cells in the transformation zone do not suddenly change into cancer but gradually develop abnormal changes that are called pre-cancerous. That is why screening for cervical cancer is recommended for anyone over age 20.
Goals of Cervical Cancer Screening
The goal of screening for cervical cancer is to
- Find precancerous cervical cell changes
- Find early warning signs when treatment can prevent cervical cancer from developing
- To find cancer at an early stage
At the same time as your screening, your OBGYN may perform a pelvic exam as well. This includes checking the size, shape, and position of the uterus and ovaries and feel for any lumps or cysts. The rectum may also be checked for lumps or abnormal areas.
You may also talk with your OBGYN about being tested for sexually transmitted infections. Your OBGYN will tell you what to expect at each step of the exam, so you will be at ease.
Schedule Your Appointment Today
Empower yourself with knowledge and take a proactive step towards cervical health. At About Women by Women in Wellesley, MA, our dedicated team is committed to your well-being. Get screened, get informed, and get peace of mind. Don’t wait for symptoms – early detection is key. Call (781) 263-0033 to schedule your cervical cancer screening with About Women by Women today.