PAP Smear Test

Prevention is better than cure. This idea works very well in the medical field as well. Since we are in this discussion, how many of you are aware of what a Screening Test is?
Cancer Diagnosis can be a hard nut to crack, because once diagnosed, you never know what might happen.
It’s a scary road you will be walking into. But you can avoid all this, just by taking the necessary precautions.
But how is that possible? Here is one such Screening Test we would like you to know about.
Share this blog with all the girls and women and help them out.

An Insight into Cervical Cancer

PAP Smear Test is used as a screening process for Cervical Cancer in women. Before we move into detail, let us understand a little bit about the cervix.
In the female reproductive system, the cervix is positioned at the narrow end of the uterus and connects the uterus to the vagina.
This is among the most common cancers women face, after Breast Cancer, Skin Cancer and Lung Cancer.
The cells in the cervix undergo Dysplasia, a process wherein abnormal cells begin to grow around the cervix.
So, Cervical Cancer Screening should be done around this time, to check whether these abnormal cells are rampantly spreading or not.
There are two well-known screening tests for cervical cancer- PAP Smear Test and HPV Test.

What is PAP Smear Test?

In a Pap Smear Test or Pap Test, the cells found on the cervix are gently scraped off and are checked out for any abnormal growth or presence.
This can provide us with more input about the changes that are taking place in the cervix.
There can be light vaginal bleeding after the test. Make sure to notify your General Practitioner or doctor if there is bleeding after sexual intercourse or bleeding between periods.
There is a higher chance of treating cancer if it is detected early while doing a Pap Test.

PAP SMEAR TEST - Mission Cancer Care - Lahari&Chanakya

What is The Purpose of PAP Smear Test?

PAP Smear Test is a screening test. Detecting cervical cancer early with the help of the PAP Smear Test gives a better chance to diagnose and treat the cancer early, before it can cause more harm, or worse- death.
It provides a better chance for survival, if any cancerous tumor is detected in the cervix.

Do We Have A Specific Procedure For It?

PAP Smear Test is done in a very simple procedure. Let us know how it is done.
Step-1: You will have to lie back on an examination table and spread your legs apart. Your legs will be rested over a set of supports called stirrups.
Step-2: A speculum is inserted in the vagina which is used to keep the vagina open. It allows the doctor to examine your cervix more carefully.
Step-3: Following this, a required amount of sample is scraped off from the cervix either by using a brush, spatula or a device called cyto brush which is a combination of both.
Step-4: The collected sample is then sent for testing.

What to expect during PAP Smear Test - Lahari&Chanakya

What Can Turn Up During The Results of PAP Smear Test?

There are two ways of explaining what will appear in the results of the PAP Smear Test.
Negative Results
If the test comes with a negative response, then there is nothing you should be worrying about. There were no abnormal cells found in your cervix so far, so you are currently on the safe side.
Another good news is that if your PAP Smear Test results come out negative, you don’t have to get this test done for another 3 years, approximately.
Positive Results
If something shows up on your PAP Smear Test, it doesn’t necessarily have to be cancer. There are chances of cancer, but it is advised to get more tests done.
If at all something looks very serious in your results, a biopsy is conducted to see if it is serious or not.

Is PAP Smear Test Painful?

There can be a little discomfort when the speculum is inserted. Do notify the doctor about the pain level you are experiencing.
The test procedure might cause a little bleeding in your vagina, which is normal. If it persists longer, please take action as soon as possible.
How Accurate is it?
The majority of PAP Smear Tests have been conducted smoothly, and the right (or in this case accurate) results have been obtained.
However, there have been a few cases of false positives. So, it is best to either get it done twice or go ahead and get a colonoscopy done later.
Nevertheless, getting this test done is a fair shot, for the sake of your life.

Who Should Not/ Need Not Get a PAP Smear Test?

Women Older Than the Age of 65
There is a lesser chance of being diagnosed with cervical cancer after the age of 65, so women who have crossed 65 are not really expected to get this test done.
On the contrary, exceptions can happen. Discuss with your doctor about this.
Women Who Just Got a Hysterectomy Done
A hysterectomy is a surgery done to remove the uterus and the cervix. Now, if this surgery was done for any other reasons that do not include cancer metastasis, then a PAP Smear Test is generally not needed.
But if it was done because there was cancer in the cervix or uterus, then a PAP Smear Test might be needed, because there are chances cancer might occur again.

How Often Do We Need a PAP Smear Test?

Women around the age of 21 to 35 should get a PAP Smear Test done, once every three years.
We have summed up all the age groups who can take a PAP Smear Test.
Less than 21 Not Required
21 to 29 Once in three years
30 to 65 Once in three years for PAP Smear Test, Once in 5 years for HPV Test
65 and Older Not Required

We Hope That

You now have a clear idea about this screening test. There are more than one ways to detect cervical cancer apart from PAP Smear Test, as we have already mentioned.
Be one step ahead of cancer. Should you feel any abnormalities in your body, get them checked immediately.
And also keep a check on your health, diet and lifestyle. Sometimes, it might be too late to sort things out once you are diagnosed with a higher stage of cancer.
Mission Cancer Care regularly conducts screening tests, so make sure you use this opportunity to get yourself tested and take all the necessary precautions.

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