International-standard gynecology and FP clinic system


Cervical cancer

The cause of almost all cervical cancers is through long term infection with certain types of a virus. The human papillomavirus (HPV) is a common viral infection which can be passed on during sex. There are many different types of HPV, some of which have been linked to cervical cancer.

Anyone who has ever had sex can have HPV. It is such a common virus that four out of five people will have had HPV at some time in their lives. In most cases, it clears up by itself in one to two years. In rare cases, if the virus persists and is left undetected, it can lead to cervical cancer. In Vietnam, cervical cancer screening is recommended to all women between the ages of 21-70.

Cervical cancer screening every two to three years can detect any abnormal cell changes caused by HPV, which can then be monitored and/or treated to prevent cancer.

At MSI clinics, we offer two methods of cervical cancer screening: visual inspection with acetic acid (VIA) and Pap smear.

Visual inspection with Acetic Acid (VIA)
In VIA, a trained doctor or nurse gently inserts a plastic instrument called a speculum into the vagina, allowing them to view the cervix. 5% acetic acid is then applied to the cervix with a large cotton swab and left for 30-60 seconds, after which the cervix is visually examined with the naked eye and a lamp. Pre-cancerous lesions, or cells that have come into contact and been altered by HPV, undergo a reaction and turn white when combined with acetic acid. A normal cervix without any precancerous lesions will not change color.
The procedure can be uncomfortable for some women, but it only takes a few minutes. It is important that you try to relax, as this makes it easier for the doctor of nurse. If you feel any discomfort during the procedure you should let your doctor or nurse know immediately.
The benefit of choosing to undergo VIA is that precancerous cells can be identified immediately, and treatment with cryotherapy applied in the same appointment. Cryotherapy involves the focused application of a gas at subfreezing temperatures in order to destroy the abnormal cervical cells.

Pap smear
A Pap smear is a quick and simple screening test that looks for early warning signs that cervical cancer might develop in the future. If abnormal cells are noticed in the test they can be closely observed and/or treated to prevent cancer developing.
Having a Pap smear every two to three years can prevent the most common form of cervical cancer in up to 90% of cases.
A doctor or nurse will gently insert an instrument called a speculum into your vagina which allows them to view your cervix. They then use a brush and/or a spatula to take a sample from your cervix. This also picks up cells from inside the opening of the cervix, which are then tested. The sample is sent off to a laboratory and if abnormal changes are found, further tests may be done to see if treatment is needed.
The test only takes a few minutes and shouldn’t be painful. Some women find it momentarily uncomfortable, but it is quick. Try to relax as much as possible and, if you do feel discomfort, tell the doctor or nurse.


  • Name:
  • Phone:
  • Email:
  • Subject:
  • Content:

5 Reasons Why choose a Marie Stopes clinic?

Click to call