The benefits of cytological examinations
- Published: Wednesday, 13 April 2016
Cervical cancer is known as “women’s silent killer”. Cancer may develop for many years without giving any symptoms and when first symptoms occur (abnormal bleeding from reproductive organs, vaginal discharge, pain in lower abdomen or during sex) it may be too late for full recovery and a woman dies. 3600 new cases of cervical cancer are found in Poland every year, 1800 women cannot be rescued. Why is it so? Because Polish women do not perform examinations regularly.
Cytological examination is simple and painless. It requires taking a smear with a professional brush from extocervix of the uterus and endocervix and subsequently the sample is subjected to pathomorphological evaluation. Further proceedings depend on the results. If cytological examination is incorrect then it always requires confirmation with histopathological examination. Only then one can plan any treatment.
Poland as one of 9 European countries has a free-of-charge Population Programme for Prevention and Early Detection of Cervical Cancers. It is devoted to women between the ages from 25 to 59 who have not performed cytological examination within 3 years. Yet Polish women are not aware that regular participation in the programme might save their health and life. The numbers show that only 24,4% of all women entitled to the free-of-charge examinations benefited from them. A lot of Polish women do not want to be examined as “they prefer not to know that they have cancer”. The statistics explicitly show that there are greater chances of full recovery if an epithelial change is discovered earlier. Sociological research shows that only 1/3 of women in Poland perform cytology regularly. The figures show that the indicator of incidence proportion and mortality rate from the abovementioned cancer is one of the highest in Europe. It equals 7 cases for 100 thousand women whereas in Scandinavian countries it equals 2 cases for 100 thousand women.
Meanwhile one could prevent the development of advanced stages of cancer, avoid long and exhausting treatment or even death through performing cytology regularly. The most important thing is that cytology helps to detect even cancerous changes in pre-invasive stage where curability rate is almost 100%.
Cytology equals life. Let’s choose!
Elaborated by: lek. Agnieszka Wrzesińska