For Cambodian women aged 15 to 44, the most frequent cancer is cervical. An estimated 4.5 million Cambodian women 15 and older are at risk of developing the disease, and nearly 900 women died in 2008. Nearly four out of five of those could have been saved, a US-based doctor said Thursday.
“Eighty percent could still be alive, had they had pap smear tests done on a regular basis,” Taing Tek Hong, a Florida-based physician, told “Hello VOA.”
In the pap smear test, based on the work of a Greek doctor in the 1940s, “cells from the cervix are examined under the microscope,” he said. “It can detect cancer cells in the early stage, even in the pre-cancer stage.”
Results from the test will show as normal, atypical, low-grade changes, high-grade changes, “squamous cell carcinoma,” or “adenocarcinoma,” he said.
“When the test is abnormal, further tests will be needed to confirm the diagnosis,” he said. “For an early stage or pre-cancer stage, minimally invasive procedures on the cervix can remove the cancer.”
The standard recommendation for the test is once ever three years for women who engage in vaginal intercourse and have a cervix and are aged 21 to 65.