A Pap Smear is a simple procedure done to screen for cervical cancer. Cervical cancer is a leading cancer in women and if timely diagnosed it can be treated successfully. A Pap Smear Test looks for changes in cells of the cervix that can later lead to cancer.
Who should have it & how often?
Any women who are sexually active once can start getting it done once every 2 – 3 years. Risk for cervical cancer is there in sexually active females and this is because of a virus known as Human papilloma virus. One can combine a pap’s smear test and HPV testing to increase probability of early diagnoses & risk assessment. The virus gets transmitted through sexual contact and if left undetected can lead to a number of complications.
Pap Smear Procedure
It’s a simple & quick procedure and is done on OPD basis- it does not need any admission. Pap’s smear is taken by simply scraping a small sample of cells from the cervix using a spatula and a smear is made on a glass slide and sent for cytological examination.
One should avoid sexual intercourse for 3 days prior to the test and any sort of douching on the day.
After the test some discomfort & spotting can be there; but it gets relieved on its own.
Results of a Pap Smear
Two possible outcomes can be there: Normal or Abnormal. If the test results are abnormal, further testing may be needed depending on reports like colposcopy or colposcopy directed cervical biopsy. One simple test – Pap Smear – is very effective in early diagnosis and management of leading cancers in women.