This procedure involves the removal of a suspicious sample of the cervix to check for the presence of abnormal cells, including cancer.
A cervical biopsy is the removal of a suspicious sample of the cervix to check for the presence of abnormal cells, including cancer. The cervix is the lower part of the uterus (womb), where it opens into the vagina. A cervical biopsy may be recommended if you have an abnormal Pap smear or pelvic exam. Depending on the circumstances, a cervical biopsy can be done in a healthcare provider's office or operating room with medication to help you relax. The type of biopsy your healthcare provider recommends, as well as available facilities and resources, will determine where it can be performed.
A colposcopy can be uncomfortable, but not usually painful. When a sample is taken, you may feel a pinching. Cramping and slight bleeding after the biopsy is common.
This care path includes the costs for a cone biopsy performed in an outpatient facility.
Routine Pap smears have decreased the incidence of cervical cancer in the United States. This is because cervical cancers typically evolve slowly and Pap spears can detect pre-cancerous lesions when they are treatable. Some of the risks factors for cervical cancer include:
Things you can do to decrease your risk of developing cervical cancer, or catch it at a very early (curable) stage, include:
There are frequently no symptoms in the early stages of cervical cancer. When present, symptoms can include:
As the cancer advances, other symptoms can develop. These include:
Contact your healthcare provider if you have any of the symptoms noted above. He or she will perform a physical examination and Pap smear to see if there are any abnormal cells on your cervix. They may also recommend one of the following tests:
A biopsy is needed to determine if an abnormality is cancer. If your cervical biopsy indicates you do have cervical cancer, additional testing may be needed.
If your healthcare provider recommends a cervical biopsy, prior to the procedure tell them about any medications you are taking (including over-the-counter medications and supplements). You should also ask about specific instructions to follow before and after the procedure. These include:
Empty your bladder and bowels before the procedure. Take slow deep breaths during the procedure to help you relax.
Contact your healthcare provider if you have symptoms of cervical cancer. Be prepared to discuss your symptoms and how long you have had them.
What should I ask my healthcare provider before having a cervical biopsy?
After your surgery, you should know what you had done, what medication was given, and what symptoms you should report to your healthcare provider after discharge. You should also understand all home care instructions (including medications and side effects) and follow-up plans. Your surgeon should also communicate with your primary care physician.
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