Health Blogs

Can PAP SMEAR detect Ovarian Cancer?

No. A Pap smear test does not detect ovarian cancer. A Pap test is the best screening test for carcinoma cervix- populary known as cervical cancer. Usually done on the basis of mass screening test in Gynecology OPD, cervical wash is collected on spatula and slides prepared, cervical cytology is done. In some rare situations ovarian cancer cells can be detected during a Pap test.   Ovarian cancer cells pass from ovaries through fallopian tubes and uterus to the area around your cervix- this is how the ovarian cancer cells may be collected during a Pap test. Pap test have a high false negative rate as blood and debris from tumor can obscure the malignant cell on slide, punch biopsy is the definite for diagnose the cancer.

The best Diagnostic test for Ovarian Cancer:

There is no such screening test for ovarian cancer, due to this  reason unlike cervical cancer or endometrial cancer, most ovarian cancers are detected in late stage. The best tumor marker for this disease is CA125 a high molecular weight glycoprotein. This kind of test is recommended by the doctor when the signs and symptoms associated with ovarian cancer are confirmed in the patient.

PAP SMEAR for Ovarian Cancer

Minor elevation in CA125 level are not specific for ovarian cancer and can seen is endometriosis, benign tumor, genital tuberculosis, fibroid and pregnancy and post partum women. Moderate elevation in CA125 can be seen in other adenocarcinoma such as breast cancer and endometrial cancer. However high CA125 level >2000 with clinical history should be consider to represent epithelial ovarian cancer until prove otherwise.

Pap Smear Test Recommendations:

Pap smear is indicated in patient complaining of abnormal white discharge from vagina, post coital bleeding, post menopausal bleeding, inter menstrual bleeding. The American college of Obstetrician and gynecologist recommendation are as follows:

Women should begin screening 3 years after the onset of sexual activity or at 21 year whichever is earlier. Screening should end at 70 or earlier if a woman had complete hysterectomy. In addition women should have negative test result yearly on liquid based pap test every  years until the age of 30