A Pap test or (Pap smear) is usually a screening test for cervical cancer.

The Pap test is highly recommended for most women starting at the age of 21 and continues through age 65 years old. The Pap test searches for cell changes around the cervix that may advance to cancer if it is not evaluated and treated appropriately. HPV (human papillomavirus) is usually tested using the Pap test. This is a virus that can cause cell changes on your cervix. While having a pap test the clinician might use a plastic or metal instrument known as a speculum. This speculum is gently put into your vagina along with a warm light above helps examine your vagina and cervix. The clinician will collect cells and mucus from the cervix and put it into a container to deliver to a laboratory. The laboratory will search for abnormal cells and HPV if this type of test is best for you.

How frequent does one require a Pap test or cervical cancer screening?
Pap screening exams are often determined by women’s age, and health background. These cervical cancer screening exams are essential for detecting abnormal cells, pre-cancer, or cancer on the cervix.

This is known as Health Promotion and Disease Prevention. Finding abnormal cells early allows time for treatment if required. Many problems discovered on this screening test are treatable. This test isn’t usually painful. Together your clinician will assist you privately through the entire exam.

How are abnormal Pap test results treated?
Treatment solutions depend on your test results. Several treatment solutions can be obtained and recommended. To prevent unnecessary treatment to women at low risk for cervical cancer, the most widespread treatment choice is observation for a period of 6-12 months. If your treatment needs are more complicated your medical professional will advise you of recommended treatment method plan as well as answer all questions or concerns.

How can I prevent cervical cancer?
Women can decrease their likelihood of cervical cancer and HPV by avoiding contact with “high-risk activities.” These high-risk activities involve sex at a young age, multiple partners, or partners with multiple partners. By using a condom each and every time with sexual activity helps to reduce the chance of HPV and sexually transmitted infections. Never smoking or stopping smoking can help to eliminate the potential risk of cervical cancer. Additionally there is a vaccine (Gardasil) that may prevent some kinds of HPV infection. HPV vaccination is recommended to young women, and those as early as age nine. This vaccination is usually a combination of three vaccine injections given over a six months’ timeframe. Ask your provider about vaccination during your next visit.

For those who have questions or perhaps wish to make a scheduled appointment, please contact us at 320-669-2662.