According to the doctors, PAP Smear Test (Papanicolaou test) is one of the best ways to determine cervical cancer. This test is done to check the presence of precancerous or cancerous cells on the cervix which is the opening of the uterus. As a layman, it is difficult to understand the complex diagnosis and procedures used to determine the cervical cancer. Therefore, experts from Sunrise Hospital have listed some basic informative pointers that will help you understand more about cervical cancer.
Who needs a PAP Smear Tes?
It is recommended to get regular Pap smear test done at the age of 21 years due the higher risk of cancer. If you are HIV positive or if you possess weak immune system, it is essential to get Pap smear test done frequently. Women above the age of 65 years with normal Pap test results earlier may stop further PAP tests. It is better to get PAP tests done after marriage because of the HPV virus which is a sexually transmitted virus
How often do you need a Pap smear?
Girls with less than 21 years of age do not need Pap smear. Women between 21-29 years need to get Pap smear done in every 3 years. Women between 30-65 years should get Pap smear in every 3-5 years if the results are negative. But you should consult the doctor if needed.
Preparing For a Pap Smear Test
According to the experts, it is better to avoid intercourse especially if you are planning to go for the test. Avoid any type of vaginal medicine, spermicidal foams, jellies etc. at least 2 s before going for the Pap smear test. Also, opting for the test during your menstrual cycle is a big NO!
Normal Pap Smear
If the results of Pap tests are normal, it indicates that there is no abnormal cell and you probably do not need to get Pap tests done for the next three years. Women above the age of 65 years with normal Pap test results earlier may stop further Pap tests.
Abnormal Pap Smear
The procedure generally involves visual examination of the cervix using a microscope. If the Pap test results are abnormal, it does not signify that you have cancer. This means that there is a presence of abnormal cells on your cervix. There are different levels of abnormal cells:
- Severe dysplasia
- Carcinoma in situ
Accuracy of results
Pap tests are precise and correct. Pap tests decrease the rate of cervical cancer by 80%. You may feel uncomfortable during this test but it can help in protecting your health.
Therefore, watch out for the signs & symptoms of the issues and regularly opt for Pap smear test. Consult your gynaecologist for the right guidance. At Sunrise Hospital, we have the best team of experts who will guide you throughout the process.