In developing countries, cervical cancer remains a common oncological disease, which is often diagnosed at the advanced stages and has high mortality rate. It often affects women of reproductive age. At the same time, in developed countries the prevalence of pathology is much lower, since many cases are detected at the stage of precancerous process. If cervical cancer develops, in most cases it is detected at the initial stage and successfully treated using surgery. The doctors perform organ-sparing operations, such as conization of the cervix or its surgical resection.
Cervical cancer is very dangerous. The pathology cannot often be completely cured already starting from the 2nd stage of the disease. Therefore, it is very important to diagnose the pathology early, before the occurrence of symptoms.
There are used two main methods in gynecology for screening examination of the population (without symptoms of any pathologies). These include:
- Pap test (Papanicolaou test, oncocytology smear) – allows the doctor to detect atypical cells in a cervical smear;
- tests for oncogenic types of human papillomavirus, which cause cervical cancer in 90% of cases (PCR or Digene test).
In the case of negative tests, the absence of complaints and objective symptoms, further diagnostics or treatment is not required. Should any signs of pathology be detected, the patient will be prescribed additional examinations. Colposcopy may be performed as well. The doctor can take a biopsy from suspicious areas of altered epithelium. The material will be sent for histological examination. According to the results, the following conclusion can be obtained:
- intraepithelial neoplasia of 1, 2 or 3 degrees (precancerous process);
- cervical cancer.
Depending on the examination results, a decision on further management of a patient of the Department of Gynecology is made. The patients with precancerous process of 1 degree are not prescribed treatment, but only monitoring. From time to time, she undergoes tests in order to detect if neoplasia has regressed. In most cases, precancerous changes disappear at the initial stage, as soon as the body gets rid of the human papillomavirus.
Some women may be detected 2nd or 3rd stage of precancerous changes in the epithelium, which require treatment. The doctors apply surgery (cervical conization) or destructive procedures (laser, cryodestruction and others). The affected area of the epithelial tissue is destroyed or removed. As a result, cancer does not develop.
Sometimes cancer in women can be detected instantly. It is limited to the mucous membrane and does not extend beyond it. At this stage, the disease can be easily cured using surgery alone. It does not require chemotherapy, external radiation therapy, brachytherapy or other destruction methods of cancer cells. It is enough to perform surgical resection for complete cure of the disease.
Therefore, exactly the quality and timeliness of diagnostic procedures in most cases determine the mortality rate from cervical cancer in a particular country. If a woman undergoes examination at least once a year in the Department of Gynecology for preventive purposes, her risk of invasive cervical cancer is close to zero, since all precancerous processes or initial forms of malignant tumor will be detected and treated in a timely manner.
Confirmation of the diagnosis
In the case of suspected cervical cancer, the patient will be necessarily prescribed medical tests in order to confirm the diagnosis. The examination is necessary for patients with the following indications:
- symptoms indicating oncological disease;
- atypical cells or areas of altered epithelium detected during gynaecological cancer screening.
Cervical cancer is a visually detectable tumor. It is easy to get a biopsy from it. This examination is used for confirmation of the diagnosis. As a result of a biopsy, it is possible not only to establish the fact of the presence of malignant tumor, but also to determine the histological type of cancer, which allows the doctors to predict further development of the disease.
A biopsy can be performed in various ways:
- during colposcopy, using special forceps;
- curettage of the transformation zone, if the tumor is localized in the uterine, but not in the vaginal part of the cervix (in this case it is not available for examination);
- excisional biopsy, which involves cervical conization (it serves as diagnostics and treatment at the same time, since the area of the altered epithelium will be completely removed).
Conization can be carried out not only with a scalpel. Many Departments of Gynecology use loop electrosurgical excision procedure. A cone-shaped sample of the cervix is removed by a metal loop strongly heated by electric energy. The non-contact laser or radio wave procedures can be applied as well.
Specification of the diagnosis
It is important not only to establish the fact of the presence of a malignant tumor, but also to plan the treatment process. For this purpose, the Departments of Gynecology in the best hospitals of the world use the following options:
- imaging examinations, such as CT, MRI;
- endoscopic examinations, such as cystoscopy, rectoscopy;
- chest X-ray;
- excretory urography;
- positron emission tomography;
- laparoscopy (minimally invasive abdominal surgery).
All these medical procedures allow the doctors to accurately determine the size of the tumor, its extension, spread to the neighboring organs. They also help to detect metastatic foci, including distant ones. According to these data, the doctors determine the stage of the oncological process, make a decision on the necessity and feasibility of surgical resection of the cervix, the use of chemotherapy, brachytherapy and other medical procedures aimed at the destruction of the primary tumor and cancer cells in metastatic foci.
Examination in the best hospitals of the world with the Booking Health company
Thanks to the Booking Health company, you can either undergo cancer screening in the best hospitals of the world or undergo targeted diagnostics of cervical cancer, if pathological abnormalities have been already detected in your medical tests. After the examination, you can undergo treatment in modern Cancer Centers, have a surgical resection, receive a course of chemotherapy, brachytherapy and undergo rehabilitation after treatment. You will be examined and treated by the best doctors in the world. Although the cost of medical services abroad is higher than in your home country, but in the best hospitals of the world you will have significantly better chances for a favorable outcome of the disease.
We provide the following services and benefits:
- Selection of the best hospital for examination, treatment or rehabilitation abroad.
- Reduced cost of medical services due to the absence of overpricing and coefficients for foreign patients.
- Preparation of the examination, treatment or rehabilitation program, taking into account the results of previously performed diagnostic procedures.
- Booking the appointment on the convenient date for you.
- Communication with your attending physician.
- Monitoring of the examination, treatment or rehabilitation program at all its stages.
- Control of invoices, costs of medical services and return of unspent funds.
- Communication with the hospital and the doctor after treatment completion.
- Buying and forwarding of medicines.
- Organization of additional examination, treatment or rehabilitation at an affordable cost.
The Booking Health company provides high-level medical services. We will help you to prepare the documents for traveling abroad, we will book tickets and a hotel for you, we will provide a transfer to the hospital, an interpreter for the communication with a doctor and medical staff.