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Cervical cancer screenings follow a specific set of guidelines that were updated by the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in September 2017. To help check for or confirm a cervical cancer diagnosis, doctors may recommend various procedures.

• Pap smear: Verywell Health says

a pap smear can identify abnormal changes to cervical cells long before they become cancerous. A woman's first pap smear is recommended at age 21.

• HPV testing: Certain types of

human papilloma viruses, including types 16 and 18, increase cervical cancer risk, according to the Mayo Clinic.

An HPV screening test looks for the presence of HPV.

• Colposcopy: During this proce dure, the doctor uses a colposcope to look at the cervix. A colposcope has a bright light with a magnifying lens to make tissue easier to see. A doctor can see if the cervix looks like it has any abnormalities.

• Punch biopsy: During this pro cedure, a doctor uses a sharp tool to pinch off small samples of cervical tissue.

• LEEP: LEEP stands for loop

electrosurgical excision procedure.

During the procedure, the doctor uses a wire loop heated by an electric current to remove some tissue from the cervix, advises WebMD.

• Endocervical cure(age: With

this procedure, a doctor uses a small, spoon-shaped instrument called a cu-

re(e to scrape a small sample of tissue

from the cervix, according to Compass Oncology.

• Conization: is biopsy removes

a cone-shaped section of abnormal tissue for laboratory examination. The University of Colorado Gynecologic Oncology says this procedure is often used in cervical dysplasia cases when a buildup of precancerous cells occurs on the cervix surface. It also can collect a larger sample of cells for testing.

These procedures are used in the prevention, identification and possible treatment of conditions that may lead to cervical cancer.

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