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Uterine Cancer Diagnosis

Pap Test
During a Pap test (also known as a Pap smear), the doctor will collect cells from the cervix and upper vagina. A medical laboratory will check for abnormal cells. Although the Pap test can detect cancer of the cervix, cells from inside the uterus usually do not show up on a Pap test. This is why the doctor collects samples of cells from inside the uterus in a procedure called a biopsy.
Transvaginal Ultrasound
During a transvaginal ultrasound, the doctor will insert an instrument into the vagina that will aim high-frequency sound waves at the uterus. This procedure will produce echoes. The pattern of the echoes will create a picture. However, if the endometrium looks too thick, the doctor will need to do a biopsy.
In order to perform a biopsy, the doctor will need to remove a sample of tissue from the uterine lining. A biopsy can usually be done in the doctor's office.
Dilatation and Curettage (D&C)
In some cases, a woman may need to have a dilation and curettage (D&C). A D&C is usually done as same-day surgery, with anesthesia, in a hospital. A pathologist will examine the tissue to check for cancer cells, hyperplasia, and other conditions. After a D&C, some women may have cramps and vaginal bleeding.
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