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Cervical cytology - Essay Example

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  Cervical cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in women world-wide, and is associated with significant mortality rates The most recent statistics in the UK indicate that in 2005 2,800 women were diagnosed with cervical carcinoma, resulting in 950 deaths. In the…
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Download file to see previous pages Other epidemiological risk factors for the development of this disease include sexual activity at an early age, a large number of different sexual partners, cigarette smoking, the use of oral contraceptives and additional socio-economic factors (Office of National Statistics UK, 2003b). 
Cervical screening is one of the most effective approaches to detect early cellular pre-cancerous changes in order to prevent the occurrence of cervical carcinoma. The procedure is relatively simple and involves the removal of cells from the surface of the cervix using an instrument called a speculum (Kitchener 2006). This can be performed in several minutes time in a physician’s office. These cells are then spread on a microscope slide, called a smear, which is then analysed by a trained cytologist for the presence of abnormal cells or tissue that may presage the early stage development of cervical carcinoma. When early cellular changes that may be pre-cancerous are detected by cervical screening, there are follow-up procedures that can be implemented to prevent the further progression of tissue abnormalities to cancerous lesions of the cervix (Kitchener 2006). These procedures involve the removal of cervical tissue from the affected area and a detailed histological assessment to ensure that all abnormal tissue is excised to prevent the further development of disease. 
Cervical screening techniques were the brain-child of physician Georges Papanicolaou who developed this screening method to detect early stage cervical pre-cancerous lesions. Since then, the “pap smear” as it is called in honor of its discoverer, has been used world-wide for the routine screening of females in an effort to decrease the incidence of this common type of gynecological cancer in women. Despite the availability of this reasonably simple and inexpensive screening test, cervical carcinoma continues to extract a high incidence and mortality rate worldwide (Kitchener 2006). ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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