Colposcopy, an important method in the early diagnosis of cervical cancer, means observing the cervix. This observation with an instrument called a colposcope is a clinical method that evaluates changes in the terminal vascular network reflecting metabolic and biochemical changes in the tissue. Colposcopy, which can also be defined as a form of examination with a microscope, allows the tissues of the cervix, vagina and vulva to be examined like a magnifying glass, usually magnified between 4 and 12.
Who Can Have Colposcopy?
Colposcopy is a procedure performed in cases of abnormal PAP smears (suspicious, mild or moderate dysplasia such as ASCUS, LGSIL, HGSIL). However, colposcopy can be performed in women with persistent infections in repeated smear tests, and in women who have an abnormal appearance of the cervix, vagina or vulva as a result of gynecological examination. Colposcopy in general:
- Specific abnormalities at the cellular level
- Prolonged atypical inflammatory cells (ASCUS) or high-risk HPV-positive ASCUS
- Atypical cells from which high-grade lesions cannot be excluded (ASC-H)
- Atypical glandular cell (AGC)
- Low-stage squamous cell precancerous lesion (LSIL)
- High-stage squamous cell carcinoma precursor lesion (HSIL)
- Suspicion of invasive cancer
- It is applied according to conditions such as the presence of cancer cells.
How is Colposcopy Performed?
For the colposcopy procedure, which is a painless procedure, the patient lies on the gynecological examination table and the inside of the vagina is made visible with a tool called a speculum. The inside of the vagina, which becomes visible, is illuminated and the colposcope instrument is brought closer, the cervix is magnified through the viewfinder of the device and a clear examination is performed.
There is no need for anesthesia during a colposcopy examination. If necessary, the pap smear is repeated after the cervix has been visualized. If there are suspicious areas, a biopsy should be taken without skipping the procedure. The number of biopsies taken may vary depending on the size of the lesion.
Importance of Colposcopy
Cervical cancer, or cancer of the cervix, is one of the most common female genital cancers today. In women whose smear test results are abnormal, the cervix can be examined and evaluated in more detail with colposcopy and, if necessary, a biopsy can be taken and a definitive diagnosis can be easily made. In this way, cervical cancer can be prevented through early diagnosis and treatment.