How is a Biopsy Performed for Diagnosing Cervical Cancer
Cervical cancer is a disease that affects thousands of women worldwide every year.
In order to diagnose and treat cervical cancer, doctors often perform a biopsy.
In this article, we will take a look at this procedure and how it is conducted. So let’s begin.
Biopsy for Cervical Cancer
If you are experiencing symptoms such as white discharge from the vagina, bleeding after sex, or bleeding in between periods, consulting a gynaecologist is a good idea.
If your gynaecologist diagnoses you with a tumour in the cervix, the next step is to perform a biopsy.
There are multiple types of biopsy procedures that we perform on our patients. Let’s take a look at them one by one.
- Punch Biopsy or Routine Biopsy:
If we find an ulcer or tumour in your cervix during the inspection, we may use punch forceps to perform a punch biopsy.
However, we only perform this procedure if the patient is comfortable. During this procedure, we place the patient in the lithotomy position in a well-lit room.
Later, we examine the patient in detail by widening the opening with a speculum and using punch forceps to collect the sample.
We do not administer any type of anaesthesia, and there is little risk of minor bleeding during this procedure. We put a small dressing inside to stop the bleeding, which can be removed after some time.
Later, we send the sample to the pathology lab to determine if the patient has cancer and, if so, what type of cancer.
- Cone Biopsy with Endocervical Curettage:
Sometimes the size of a tumour is very small. In very early cases, if it is possible to remove the whole tumor without removing the uterus, we perform a cone biopsy.
In short, a cone biopsy is not just a diagnostic procedure; it can be therapeutic too. During the procedure, we remove the cervix in a cone shape.
This procedure is performed in an operating theatre. We place the patient in the lithotomy position, give them a little bit of sedation, and widen the opening with a speculum.
Then, we remove cervix in a cone shape. A cone biopsy can be performed either by using a surgical knife/cold scalpel or by using an electrically heated wire (Leep).
During this biopsy, we also take some curettage from the inner part of the cervix. This process is called endocervical curettage.
This sample is then sent to the pathology lab for testing. If the cancer is in an early stage and there is malignant cells in the curettage, no further treatment is needed.
- Examination Under Anaesthesia and Biopsy:
Sometimes, cancer is in an advanced stage, and it’s necessary to perform an examination to determine whether cancer has spread beyond the cervix.
For this, we perform an examination under anesthesia to ensure the patient is relaxed. so that we can comfortably assess if disease is advanced.
A detailed inspection helps us understand whether cancer has spread beyond the cervix, in the bladder, or rectum.
In some cases, we also perform a Cystoscopy. During this procedure, we insert a small tube into the urinary bladder to check whether there is spread in the bladder.
This procedure is known as Examination Under Anaesthesia with Cystoscopy.
We hope now you have a clear understanding of the types of Biopsy we perform to diagnose cancer and its stage.
Remember, it’s very important to understand that early diagnosis is the key to the treatment of any type of cancer.
So in case you need some more information or help related to cervical cancer, feel free to reach out to our specialists. We are always here to assist you.