About cervical cancer screening
Effectiveness of cervical cancer screening
Screenings aim to detect specific diseases at their early stages for early treatments. Gynecologic screening generally means "cervical cancer screening for early detection of cervical cancer."Cervical cancer is the most suitable for screening among gynecological cancers with its effectiveness proven, while the effectiveness of screening has not been shown for uterine body cancer and ovarian cancer. Cervical cancer screening includes interviews (i.e., history of vaccination etc.), colposcopy (i.e., observation of the cervix), pelvic examination (i.e., palpation of uterus and ovaries), cytodiagnosis (i.e., microscopic examination of cervical cells collected with a brush to see the emergence of abnormal cells) and HPV test (i.e., a test to examine for human papillomavirus, the main causative virus of cervical cancer).
Cervical cancer screening
Cervical cancer screening is conducted by interview, colposcopy, pelvic examination and cytodiagnosis. Recently, the HPV test (performed using part of the cells collected for cytodiagnosis) has been incorporated into the screening by some local governments to increase the detection rate of "precancerous lesions (i.e., the lesions before becoming cancers for which uterus-preserving treatment is possible)" by combining with cytodiagnosis. Some people receive self-sampling HPV test as an alternative method of the screening, but we do not recommend it because of its poorer accuracy. However, its introduction in the future is expected as a measure for the people who have not received the screening for some unavoidable reasons, once the accuracy of self-sampling HPV testing has been verified.
Gynecological screening has been proven to show the effect to reduce mortality (i.e., the effects of reducing deaths by receiving the screening) only in "cervical cancer screening." Other gynecological tumors such as uterine body cancer and ovarian cancer and other gynecological diseases such as vaginal candidiasis are often found accidentally during cervical cancer screening. We recommend that you first receive cervical cancer screening as a gynecological screening.
Nevertheless, we recommend HPV vaccination as a preventive measure for cervical cancer since the detection rate of the screening is not 100%. We also recommend that you visit a medical institution as soon as possible when the symptoms of uterine body cancer and ovarian cancer such as abnormal uterine bleeding and abdominal distention are found.