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Proposed Uterine Cancer Screening Tests

Research is currently being conducted to look for a routine, effective screening test for uterine cancer. Proposed procedures under study include:
 
  • Pap test (Pap smear)
  • Transvaginal ultrasound
  • Endometrial sampling.
 
Pap Test
A Pap test is a procedure that is used to collect cells from the surface of the cervix and vagina with a piece of cotton, a brush, or a small wooden stick. The cells are then viewed under a microscope to find out if they are abnormal. This procedure is also called a Pap smear.
 
Although Pap tests are not used in uterine cancer screening, Pap test results may show signs of an abnormal endometrium (lining of the uterus). Follow-up tests will be needed to detect uterine cancer.
 
Transvaginal Ultrasound
A transvaginal ultrasound is a procedure that is used to examine the:
 
  • Vagina
  • Uterus
  • Fallopian tubes
  • Bladder.
 
An ultrasound transducer (probe) is inserted into the vagina and used to bounce high-energy sound waves (ultrasound) off internal tissues or organs and create echoes. The echoes will form a picture of body tissues called a sonogram, which the doctors will use to identify tumors. A transvaginal ultrasound is commonly used to examine women who have abnormal vaginal bleeding.
 
Endometrial Sampling
Endometrial sampling is used to remove tissue from the endometrium by inserting a thin, flexible tube through the cervix and into the uterus. The tube is used to gently scrape a small amount of tissue from the endometrium and then remove the tissue samples. A pathologist will then view the tissue under a microscope to look for cancer cells. Endometrial sampling is commonly used to examine women who have abnormal vaginal bleeding.
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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