Secure online access to Cleveland Clinic's specialists for over 1,200 medical diagnoses, nutritional consultation and pre-adoption advice

Cleveland Clinic News  The latest from our experts

Simple Procedure Treats Cervical Cancer Early

CervixRates of cervical cancer in the U.S. have dipped to all-time lows, not only because of early detection through regular Pap tests, but also because of quick, effective treatments for pre-cancerous cervical tissues, including the loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP).

LEEP, a simple and common surgical procedure, uses a thin, low-voltage electrified wire loop. This tiny tool is inserted into the vagina to remove pre-cancerous tissue from the cervix.

Thanks to advancements in prevention and early treatment, there are only about 12,000 new diagnoses of cervical cancer in this country each year. This is a far cry from the 1940s, which predated the use of the Pap smear. At that time, cancer of the cervix was still a major cause of death among women of childbearing age.

Gynecologic oncologist Robert DeBernardo, MD, says, “Because of the Pap test and procedures like LEEP, cervical cancer is now an orphan disease.”

Here are four things that Dr. DeBernardo says women should know about LEEP.