Health InformationEarly Detection of Cervical Cancer

21 Jan 2022
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Cervical cancer can be classified as cervical cancer and uterine cancer according to the location of occurrence.

Cervical cancer is a cancer that occurs at the entrance of the uterus, and cancer cells occur at the entrance of the uterus that connects from vagina to the cervix. Cancer that occurs in the uterine body is often referred to as endometrial cancer, which occurs in the innermost endometrium of the uterine sac where the fetus grows.

Cervical cancer and endometrial cancer have relatively easy-to-recognize symptoms of "small amounts of vaginal bleeding," and can be detected relatively early compared to ovarian cancer, which is called "silent assassin." If the uterine disease progresses due to light over vaginal bleeding symptoms and not undergoing regular checkups, symptoms such as secretion with odor, lower abdomen pain, and excessive bleeding may occur.

Cervical cancer is mainly associated with human papilloma virus (HPV). Infection with the human papilloma virus is mainly transmitted through sex, and about 80% of women are infected with cervical cancer at least once in their lifetime.


The liquid cervical cell test performed for early detection of cervical cancer is a test in which cells are obtained by rubbing the cervix with a brush and then rolled on a slide to observe the shape with a microscope. Depending on the shape of the cell, it is divided into normal, atypical squamous cells, low-grade squamous endothelial lesions, high-grade squamous endothelial lesions, and atypical line cells, and if abnormal findings are found, biopsy is performed for accurate diagnosis.

If diagnosed in three stages of cervical epithelial tumor, also expressed as stage 0 cervical cancer, it can prevent the progression to cervical cancer while preserving fertility with simple surgery (cervical conesectomy). In the case of cervical cancer, surgery can be performed immediately in the early stages and the prognosis is good.

According to data from the Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service, the number of patients treated for endometrial cancer increased by about 50% from 11,629 in 2013 to 17,421 in 2017, and it is known that the number of endometrial cancer patients increased rapidly in young women in their 20s and 30s.

The increase in endometrial cancer can be attributed to improved nutritional status and increased proportion of obese women. In addition, if the menarche age is early or menopause is late, long-term administration of drugs that can affect women or female hormones without childbirth increases the probability of developing endometrial cancer.

Yoon Sang-hee, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Inje University's Sanggye Paik Hospital, said, "If you have risk factors, have vaginal bleeding after menopause, or if you have irregular bleeding when you are not menstruating, you need an ultrasound."

Yoon Sang-hee, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Inje University's Sanggye Paik Hospital 

Endometriosis can progress to endometrial cancer in 1 to 29%, so hormone therapy or surgical treatment can reduce the risk of cancer. In the case of endometrial cancer, early detection is important as cancer with a high cure rate of 85% or higher survival rate of more than 5 years.

Professor Yoon added, "Liquid cervical cell tests and pelvic ultrasound tests are recommended for regular obstetric checkups, and if there is no abnormality, regular checkups every year or every two years will help prevent uterine cancer."

Source: The Korea Health News

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