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How is gynaecological cancer diagnosed?

Personalised care and support for addressing gynaecological cancers

Gynaecological cancers refer to cancers that affect the female reproductive system. The anatomical areas involved by cancers may be the ovary, fallopian tubes, womb, cervix, vagina and vulva. Regular gynaecological cancer screenings allows for early detection, and in the event of a diagnosis allows for a wider range of potential treatments.


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gynecologist taking a vaginal swab for bacterial examination

What methods are used with gynaecological cancer screening?

  • Pap Smear: A sample of cells is taken from the surface of the cervix using a soft brush. These cells are examined for abnormalities that may indicate precancerous changes or early cervical cancer.
  • HPV Test: This detects the presence of certain strains of the Human Papillomavirus (HPV), which can contribute to the development of cervical cancer.
  • Pelvic exam: A physical examination of the external genitalia, vagina, cervix, uterus and ovaries can potentially detect changes to the size and texture of these structures.
  • Imaging tests: In some cases, depending on the gynaecologist's recommendation, additional tests like ultrasound, CT scans or MRIs might be used for further evaluation if abnormalities are found during the screening process.


What treatments are available following a diagnosis?

  • Surgery: The extent of surgery will vary depending on the type and stage of cancer, but our private gynaecologists in Oxford are highly skilled at minimally-invasive laparoscopic techniques and utilise these whenever possible, and only if safe to do so.
  • Chemotherapy: Powerful medications are used to destroy cancer cells in the targeted area, with additional utility as a pre-surgery treatment to shrink tumours.
  • Hormonal therapy: This approach may be used for certain hormone-receptor-positive cancers, effectively disrupting the growth of cancer cells by manipulating hormonal levels.

women supporting each other




We understand that navigating the topic of gynaecological cancers can be challenging and seem overwhelming. Our team will provide comprehensive information and support throughout the treatment journey, empowering you to make informed decisions.