Gynaecology

Gynaecology

Cervical Cancer & HPV Vaccination

Cervical cancer is the 10th most common cancer amongst women in Singapore—about 190 new cases are diagnosed yearly. The cervix – the neck of the womb – is made up of millions of tiny cells, and cervical cancer occurs when these cells in the cervix undergo malignant change.

The most common cause of cervical cancer is the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). There are over 100 types of HPV viruses and 15 types lead to cervical cancer and it is these HPV types that spread through sexual contact. All sexually active persons are at risks of contracting HPV infection and it can be prevented with HPV vaccination. Many people who have HPV infections may not show any signs or symptoms, hence they may transmit the virus unknowingly.

Cervical Cancer & HPV

Cervical Cancer Screening

Pap Smear

  • Cervical cancer screening involves a routine pap smear which is a painless test aimed at women with no cancer symptoms. Cells from the cervix are collected and examined for any abnormalities that could lead to cancer.
  • Fortunately, early precancer changes in the cervix can be easily detected long before cancer develops. Once diagnosed and treated, cancer can be prevented. It is recommended for all sexually active women to have regular pap smears, so that problems can be detected early and treated before they become serious.
Pap Smear

Colposcopy & Cervical Biopsy

  • Colposcopy is the simple procedure of observing the cervix through a special magnifying device. This allows us to detect problems that cannot be seen by the human eye alone.
  • Biopsies of abnormal areas are taken for further evaluation and treatment can be performed based on these results.
Colposcopy & Cervical Biopsy

Treatment & Prevention

Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure (LEEP) & Cone Biopsy

  • LEEP and cone biopsy are minor surgical procedures that involve the removal of a cylindrical or cone-shaped piece of the cervix in which abnormal cells are detected by using a heated electrical loop wire or with laser, diathermy or knife.
  • For LEEP, local anaesthetic is administered prior the procedure. For cone biopsy, an anaesthetist will discuss with you the types of pain-relief available.
Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure (LEEP) & Cone Biopsy Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure (LEEP) & Cone Biopsy

Cervarix® & Gardasil®9 Vaccination

  • Among the over 100 types of HPV, there are 15 cancer-causing types which can lead to cervical cancer. Together, HPV types 16, 18, 45 and 31 account for over 80% of cervical cancer cases in Asia Pacific. Other HPV types 33, 52 and 58 are associated with cancer of the cervix, vagina, vulvar and anus.
  • Genital warts are caused by HPV types 6 and 11.
  • Cervarix® vaccine protects against HPV types 16 and 18, thereby providing immunity against 70% of cervical cancer.
  • Gardasil®9 helps protect against HPV types 6, 11, 16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52 and 58 and so gives 90% immunity against cervical, vaginal, vulva and anal cancer, precancerous changes of the cervix and vulva and genital warts.
  • Both men and women can receive Gardasil®9. The vaccine works best when given to persons with no prior HPV contact although possible benefits can be derived in persons who may have had previous HPV exposure.
  • Both vaccines consist of three doses to be administered over a 6-month period.
  • They are not a substitute for routine Pap smear screening.
Top