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How is a colposcopy used to diagnose cervical cancer?

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During this test, your doctor will use an instrument called a colposcope, which looks a lot like a microscope, to get an up close look at your cervix. You’ll lie on an exam table and she’ll use a speculum to keep your vagina open. Next she’ll rub a solution of acetic acid (similar to vinegar) on your cervix. This liquid helps her see any abnormal cells. It might burn a little.

SOURCES:

American Cancer Society: "How is cervical cancer diagnosed?" "How is cervical cancer staged?" "HPV and HPV Testing." "Signs and Symptoms of Cervical Cancer."

CDC: "What Should I Know About Screening?"

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute: "Cervical cone biopsy."

MD Anderson Cancer Center: "Cervical Cancer Diagnosis."

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists: "Colposcopy."

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: "Pap test."

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force: "Cervical Cancer: Screening."

Reviewed by Lisa Bernstein on October 21, 2018

SOURCES:

American Cancer Society: "How is cervical cancer diagnosed?" "How is cervical cancer staged?" "HPV and HPV Testing." "Signs and Symptoms of Cervical Cancer."

CDC: "What Should I Know About Screening?"

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute: "Cervical cone biopsy."

MD Anderson Cancer Center: "Cervical Cancer Diagnosis."

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists: "Colposcopy."

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: "Pap test."

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force: "Cervical Cancer: Screening."

Reviewed by Lisa Bernstein on October 21, 2018

NEXT QUESTION:

How are cervical biopsies used to diagnose cervical cancer?

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