Gynaecological Cancer Consultation
HPV vaccine is a prophylactic vaccine to prevent cervical cancer as well as other HPV-related cancers or diseases. In Hong Kong, HPV-16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52, 58 accounted for about 90% of cases of cervical cancer. All the above seven genotypes are included in the 9-valent HPV vaccine.
The cervix is at the lower part of the uterus (womb). The cervix joins the uterus to the vagina. Cervical smear (the Pap Smear named after its inventor, Dr. George Papanicolaou in 1920s) is a quick and simple test for women to detect abnormal cell changes in the cervix, which may progress to cancer if ignored.
The cervical smear is a very safe test that only takes a few minutes. The doctor or nurse will insert an instrument (called speculum) into your vagina to allow visualization of your cervix which is located deep inside the vagina. A small piece of wooden spatula or plastic brush will then be inserted through the speculum to obtain some cell samples from the surface of the cervix. Afterwards, the cell sample will be smeared onto a glass slide or transferred to a bottle of liquid for preservation. The speculum is removed and the test is finished. The specimen will then be sent to the laboratory for examination under microscope.
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There is no good evidence to support routine screening of ovarian cancer in normal population.
Symptoms are usually mild and even asymptomatic in most of the women who suffer from early-stage ovarian cancer. This is the reason why patients presented late to their doctors.
Although there is no solid evidence to suggest routine ovarian cancer screening in picking up early-stage ovarian cancers, regular gynaecological checkup may sometimes diagnose the disease before symptoms develop.
It is defined as patients having a strong family history of ovarian cancer or known to carry mutated genes, which increase the risk of developing ovarian cancer.
Regular check up may help diagnose ovarian cancer in its early stage.
For patients who are known to carry abnormal genes such as the BRCA1 and BRCA2, prophylactic removal of tubes and ovaries can reduce the lifetime risk of developing ovarian cancer significantly.
References：Centre of Health Protection, Hospital Authority