Cancer Screening

Cancer Screening
Pap Smear

A routine pap smear is the most common screening method for detecting cervical cancer. It is a painless procedure that accurately detects over 90% of cervical cancers, even before symptoms develop.

A speculum is first inserted into the vagina to properly visualize the cervix. Cells from the cervix and vagina are taken using a small brush to be examined for any abnormalities. Early pre-cancerous changes in the cervix can be detected in this way and treated, thereby preventing cancer from developing.

All women who are sexually active or have had sexual intercourse in the past should have regular Pap smears.

Pap Smear

Colposcopy with biopsy is another method for diagnosing cervical cancer and is usually performed following an abnormal pap smear. This method provides a magnified view of the abnormal cervix. During this minor procedure, acetic acid and iodine are applied to the cervix to highlight the abnormal areas, and biopsies of the abnormal areas are taken for further evaluation.

Appropriate treatment can then be performed based on test results. Treatment of pre-cancerous changes of the cervix include laser vaporization, LEEP and cone biopsy with laser or knife.

Cervical Cancer

Cervical cancer is the 2nd most common female cancer in Asia and the 7th most common cause of cancer deaths among Singaporean women. Worldwide, 270,000 women die from cervical cancer each year, which means that a woman dies of cervical cancer every 2 minutes. Sexual activity increases the risks of cervical cancer and pre-cancer, irrespective of age and lifestyle.

Cervical cancer is closely associated with the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). There are 100 types of HPVs but only 15 of them are categorised as “high risk types” which cause cervical cancer. The two most commonly found types are HPV types 16 and 18 which are responsible for 70% of cervical cancers. HPV infection is mainly spread through sexual intercourse and can be asymptomatic.

Cervarix® & Gardasil®9 Vaccination
  • HPV types 16, 18, 45 and 31 account for over 80% of cervical cancer cases in Asia Pacific. Other HPV types 33, 52 and 58 are associated with cancer of the cervix, vagina, vulvar and anus.
  • Genital warts are caused by HPV types 6 and 11.
  • Cervarix® vaccine protects against HPV types 16 and 18, thereby providing immunity against 70% of cervical cancer.
  • Gardasil®9 helps protect against HPV types 6, 11, 16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52 and 58 and so gives 90% immunity against cervical, vaginal, vulva and anal cancer, precancerous changes of the cervix and vulva and genital warts.
  • Both men and women can receive Gardasil®9. The vaccine works best when given to persons with no prior HPV contact although possible benefits can be derived in persons who may have had previous HPV exposure.
  • Both vaccines consist of three doses to be administered over a 6-month period.
  • They are not a substitute for routine Pap smear screening.
LEEP (Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure) and Cone Biopsy

LEEP and cone biopsy are minor surgical procedures performed to remove a conical- or cylindrical-shaped piece of abnormal cervical tissue. This is achieved using an electrically-heated wire loop in LEEP and with a knife or laser in the case of a cone biopsy. Both procedures are performed using local anaesthetic or with sedation.

LEEP (Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure) and Cone Biopsy
LEEP (Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure) and Cone Biopsy
We understand your concerns and are committed to supporting you every step of the way.
Our Specialist
Dr Regina Zuzarte-Ng

Singapore Gynaecologist & Obstetrician, MBBS (Singapore), MMed (O&G) (Singapore), FRCOG (UK), FAMS (Singapore)

Dr Regina is a gynaecologist skilled in the management of prenatal care and gynaecological conditions. A mother to two, she understands the needs of women intimately and incorporates that into her practice.

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