Cervical Cancer

Cervical Cancer

Cervical Cancer Gwinnett Cervical cancer is one of the most common forms of gynecological cancer, and the only one that can be properly screened and vaccinated against. It is a type of cancer that starts in the cervix – the lower part of the uterus that connects to the upper area of the vagina.

Cervical cancer symptoms include:

  • Vaginal bleeding (not to be confused with menstrual bleeding)
  • Abdominal and/or pelvic pain
  • Discomfort/pain during sexual intercourse
  • Irregular vaginal discharge

Routine pelvic exams are an important part of wellness exams and highly encouraged for patients starting at age 21. These exams include Pap smears, which use cell samples taken from the lining of the cervix to examine any changes to these cells, and help diagnose the presence of cervical cancer. If there is any indication of abnormalities, we may recommend additional testing, such as a biopsy, to determine the best cervical cancer treatment for you.

 

HPV (Human Papillomavirus)

Affecting nearly 12,000 women annually in the United States, cervical cancer is mainly caused by a sexually-transmitted virus called human papillomavirus (HPV). There are over 100 known types of HPV but fortunately not all will lead to cervical cancer. Some forms of HPV present visible symptoms, like genital warts, but many show no signs at all and are diagnosed by routine Pap smear and HPV co-testing.

For most patients with HPV, they will not even know they have it and the cells return to normal over time. It is the presence of abnormal cells that do not change back that become cancerous, dormant, and dangerous. There is currently HPV-specific screening for all high-risk HPV subtypes as well as HPV 16/18/45, which are responsible for most cervical cancer cases. Since there is no known cure for HPV, regular screening exams/Pap smears, recommended HPV vaccinations, and timely treatment can help stop it from later developing into cervical cancer.

 

LEEP (Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure)

Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure (LEEP), is an in-office procedure that we perform at Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett to treat abnormal tissue in the cervix. Once a Pap smear and biopsy confirm that there are abnormal cell changes on the cervix, we may recommend LEEP as an effective outpatient treatment.

When performing LEEP,  a numbing medication is injected into the cervix before we use a low-voltage/electrified, thin wire loop to skillfully remove abnormal tissue on the cervix. Since it is an office procedure, you can return to work in a day or two.

 

Cervical Cancer Prevention

Like many cancers, some forms of cervical cancer cannot be adequately screened. In 1996, the FDA approved the first HPV vaccine recommended for preteens through young adults (9-26 years old). The HPV vaccine is given in a round of three shots over a 6-month time span and offers long-term HPV protection. Being vaccinated does not guarantee that you are immune to the virus, which is why we recommend wellness visits with your Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett provider for routine Pap smears to monitor any abnormalities that may develop.

 

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Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett
601 Professional Drive, Suite 330
Lawrenceville, Georgia 30046   
Phone: 678.380.1980   
Fax: 678.380.7348

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