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FAQ187, January 2016

What is cervical cancer screening? Cervical cancer screening is used to find abnormal changes in the cells of the cervix that could lead to cancer. Screening includes the Pap test and, for some women, testing for a virus called human papillomavirus (HPV) (see FAQ085 “Cervical Cancer Screening”).

FAQ095, March 2017

What is a normal menstrual cycle? The normal length of the menstrual cycle is typically between 24 days and 38 days. A normal menstrual period generally lasts up to 8 days.

October 2017

PFS007, October 2017

BRCA1 and BRCA2 Mutations Cancer is caused by several different factors. A few types of cancer run in families. These types are called “hereditary” or “familial” cancer. They are caused by changes in genes that can be passed from parent to child. Changes in genes are called mutations. Hereditary breast and ovarian cancer (HBOC) syndrome is an inherited increased risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and other types of cancer. HBOC syndrome is linked to mutations in several genes, but the most common are called BRCA1 and BRCA2. Inheriting one of these mutations increases the risk of getti...

FAQ026, March 2017

What is a benign breast condition? A benign breast condition is one that is not cancer. These problems often go away on their own or are easily treated. Because a few benign breast conditions can increase your risk of getting cancer in the future, you may need to have follow-up tests or exams with your obstetrician–gynecologist (ob-gyn) or other health care professional.

April 2017

FAQ179, April 2017

Pregnancy What is carrier screening? What is a carrier? What are the chances of having a child with a genetic disorder? How is carrier screening done? When can carrier screening be done? Do I have to have carrier screening? What carrier screening tests are available? Who should have carrier screening? What is targeted carrier screening? What is expanded carrier screening? Is one approach better than the other? What choices do I have if my partner and I are carriers of a genetic disorder? How accurate is carrier screening? Are results...

PFSI008 How the Test Is Done CELL-FREE DNA PRENATAL SCREENING TEST What is it? The cell-free DNA prenatal screening test (also called “cfDNA test”) screens for certain conditions caused by an abnormal number of chromosomes. It does not test for all types of chromosomal disorders. Screening tests are used to estimate whether your baby is at higher risk or lower risk of having a certain condition. Diagnostic tests can give a definite answer about whether the baby has a certain condition. These tests include amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling (CVS). = maternal ...

December 2015

FAQ163, December 2015

What is cancer of the cervix? A woman’s cervix (the opening of the uterus at the top of the vagina) is covered by a thin layer of tissue made up of cells. Healthy cells grow, divide, and are replaced as needed. Cancer of the cervix occurs when these cells change. Cancer cells divide more rapidly. They may grow into deeper cell layers or spread to other organs. The cancer cells eventually form a mass of tissue called a tumor.

September 2017

FAQ085, September 2017

What is cervical cancer screening? Cervical cancer screening is used to find changes in the cells of the cervix that could lead to cancer. The cervix is the opening to the uterus and is located at the top of the vagina. Screening includes cervical cytology (also called the Pap test or Pap smear) and, for some women, testing for human papillomavirus (HPV).

PFSI009 Your ob-gyn or other health care professional takes a sample of cervical cells and sends them to a lab for testing: • For a Pap test, the sample is tested to see if abnormal cells are present. • For an HPV test, the sample is tested for infection with HPV types linked to cancer. If you are younger than 21 years  You do not need screening.  If you are aged 21–29 years  Have a Pap test every 3 years.  If you are aged 30 –65 years Have a Pap test + an HPV test (co-testing) every 5 years (preferred) or a Pap test alone every 3 years.   If you are 65 years or older ...

April 2015

FAQ135, April 2015

What is colposcopy? Colposcopy is a way of looking at the cervix through a special magnifying device called a colposcope. It shines a light into the vagina and onto the cervix. A colposcope can greatly enlarge the normal view. This exam allows the health care provider to find problems that cannot be seen by the eye alone.

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
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