Cervical cancer early detection

Cervical cancer is the fourth leading cause of death for women in the world. The best way in the prevention of cervical cancer is through early detection, that is the Papanicolau test or better known as Pap smear.

Early detection is important because, generally, cervical cancer has no specific symptoms. The Pap smear is used in detecting human pavillomavirus infection.

There are 12 HPV types at high risk. Most infections will be suppressed by the immune system within one to two years without causing cancer symptoms.

Meanwhile, cervical cancer risk factors are conditions that increase the likelihood of HPV infection, for example, multiple sexual partners, having sex at a young age, a weak immune system, smoking, taking diethylstilbestrol medications during pregnancy and a history of cancer in the lower reproductive organs.

This examination should be done every three years since the age of 21. There is no age limit for early detection although cancer risk factors can begin at a young age. There is no maximum age for screening because the incidence of cervical cancer increases with age although it is possible to occur at a younger age. Even after menopause, a woman needs to do regular Pap smear examination.

Please note that early detection preparation is for women who are not menstruating. Two days before the examination, you don't have sexual intercourse, don't use tampons or medications in the vagina, and don't use vaginal contraception.

This examination has no complications and no pain.