A biopsy is the removal of a small amount of tissue to examine under a microscope. Other tests can indicate the presence of cancer but a definitive diagnosis is allowed only through a biopsy. The sample(s) are then analysed by a pathologist. The doctor may remove all of it during the biopsy if the lesion is small.
There are several types of biopsies performed in the doctor’s clinic using a local anesthetic to numb the area. During this procedure, there may be some bleeding and other discharge. Some women may even experience discomfort similar to menstrual cramps.
- One of the most common method is pinching small pieces of cervical tissue using an instrument
- The doctor needs to test the region within the cervix opening which is not noticeable during colposcopy. For this the doctor uses an endocervical curettage technique. A flat, spoon-shaped tool called a curette is used by the doctor to scrape a small amount of tissue from inside the cervical opening
- The loop electrosurgical excision technique (LEEP) uses an electrical current that passes through a thin pin where the hook removes tissue for examination. A LEEP may also be used to remove precancer or early cancer
- Conization or a cone biopsy of cervix extracts a fragment of tissue that is cone shaped from the cervix. It can be performed as a treatment to remove a precancer or early-stage cancer. It is done under a general or local anesthetic in the doctor’s or clinic or hospital
When the biopsy reveals the presence of cervical cancer, the doctor should refer the woman to a gynecological oncologist, a specialist who is specialized in treating this form of cancer. The specialist may propose further testing to see if the cancer has spread beyond the cervix.