Over the last several decades, cervical cancer cases have dropped by more than 50%. This is mainly thanks to Pap smears, which identify abnormal cells before they turn cancerous. A Pap smear is a simple test that’s an important aspect of women’s wellness exams. At Family Care Plus Clinic, family medicine physician Nancy Naghavi, DO, and her experienced team perform Pap smears onsite to make testing convenient and easy. Call either of the two clinics in Katy, Texas, or Munroe Falls, Ohio, or book your appointment online today.
A Pap smear tests a small tissue sample from the opening of the uterus, called the cervix. This test can identify abnormal changes in your cervical cells.
Certain abnormalities mean that cells could turn cancerous in the future, so the Pap smear works like a very early detection test for cervical cancer.
Family Care Plus Clinic performs Pap smears during an annual pelvic exam. They insert a tool called a speculum into your vagina. They slowly open your cervix with the speculum and obtain a small cell sample through either swabbing or light scraping. Then, your medical provider retracts the speculum and removes it to complete your test.
A Pap smear isn't painful, but you might feel some pressure or discomfort for a very short period.
All women should have a Pap smear every three years. Alternatively, women over 30 may have a Pap smear along with an HPV test every five years.
These are only general guidelines for healthy women without any risk factors or history of abnormal Pap smears. Family Care Plus Clinic may recommend a different testing schedule to help you prevent cervical cancer and optimize your health.
Abnormal results aren't unusual, and they don't mean you have cervical cancer. Often, an abnormal test result doesn't require immediate care. It's more of a warning to monitor the situation with help from your medical provider.
You may simply need to have another Pap smear in a year or so since most abnormal cells go away on their own. In some cases, the team at Family Care Plus Clinic may recommend a follow-up Pap smear or more complex testing right away to verify your results.
If your Pap smear and follow-up testing both show high-grade cellular changes, the team may recommend a procedure to remove the abnormal tissue so you can prevent cervical cancer from developing.
Book your women’s wellness checkup and Pap smear by calling Family Care Plus Clinic or using the online appointment tool today.