Female cancers: expert answers to your questions
Diagnosing cancer: expert answers
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Diagnosing cancer: expert answers

Some cancers don't seem to have any symptoms. How do I know if I should get checked?
Dr M. Espié: The majority of cancers in early stages have no symptoms, the only way to check for breast cancer is with a mammogram and for cervical cancer, with a smear test.

To diagnose Hpv, is it enough to go for a smear test or do you need to undergo other tests?
Dr M. Espié: Hpv can be diagnosed by a smear test, but also by blood tests.

Can ovarian cancer be picked up on a scan?
Dr M. Espié: Yes but often too late. Systematic scans of the ovaries have not been proven to be effective for early-stage diagnosis.

At what age is it advised to go for breast screening ?
Dr M. Espié: In the absence of abnormalities, systematic mammograms are recommended from the age of 50 onwards in France. Personally, I would like to see a benchmark mammogram at 40. Scans are not dangerous and are recommened in young women whose breasts have lots of glands.

Is it true that if I take the Pill for several years I should hava a mammogram, even if I'm under 25?
Dr M. Espié: No, 25 is too young for a mammogram because the radiation can create cancers. At 25, breast cancer is rare.

Health and Fitness Editor
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