How is cervical cancer diagnosed?

If your doctor thinks your symptoms need to be investigated, you will have more tests. Tests that can help to diagnose cervical cancer include:

Physical examination

Your doctor uses an instrument called a speculum to examine your cervix and see inside it more clearly.


The doctor examines your cervix using a bright light and a colposcope. This is a large microscope that helps him or her to look more closely at the surface of your cervix.


The specialist takes tissue samples from your cervix and examines them under a microscope to see if they are abnormal.

Irish Cancer Society Logo221+ Patient Support Group thanks the Irish Cancer Society for permission to use the text of their booklet Cervical Cancer, What You Should Know
and acknowledges the contribution of the original authors of the booklet.