A vital component of a well-woman exam is a gynecological exam. You want to know if your reproductive organs are healthy and functioning properly. The Pap smear is one of the most important screening tests for women.
A Pap smear checks to see if your cervix—the vaginal opening—is healthy or if there are any abnormal cells there. If there are any abnormal changes in your cervix, getting a Pap smear at the recommended intervals helps ensure an early diagnosis and treatment.
Early diagnosis and treatment, like with other health conditions, can save your life. At Danvers Family Doctors, P.C., we are able to easily remove any abnormal cells that we find early on, before they develop into cancer cells. If this occurs to you, getting a Pap smear can save your life.
Benefits of Pap smears that can save a life
When it comes to diagnosing and treating cervical cancer, the medical field has made significant progress. Previously, this type of cancer ranked No. 1 reason women die from cancer. It no longer ranks among the top ten cancers that affect women in the United States.
However, that doesn’t mean it won’t kill. The majority of women diagnosed with cervical cancer have either never had a Pap smear or have not had one within the recommended time frame. Women whose cancers have progressed to the point where they exhibit physical symptoms have a lower cure rate than those who undergo regular screenings.
How frequently you ought to get a Pap smear
Clinical counsel has changed in regards to how frequently ladies ought to get a Pap smear. In the past, most doctors recommended Pap tests every year. However, abnormal cells in the cervix do not always develop into cancer. Up to ten years can pass between abnormal cells and fully developed cervical cancer. According to doctors, screening should be done every three years, and there should be fewer false positives on the test.
A Pap smear should be performed on any woman over the age of 21 who has had at least one sexual encounter. Once you have had two normal Pap smears in a row, you should get one every three years until you are 65 years old if you are between the ages of 21 and 54. Your doctor will tell you whether you should keep getting the exam after you turn 65.
You can choose co-testing, which includes a Pap smear and an HPV test every five years, if you are 30 or older and don’t want to have the test every third year.
What to expect during a Pap smear
At Danvers Family Doctors, we conduct a comprehensive gynecological exam, which includes the Pap smear, at the appropriate intervals. The test just requires a little while. In order to view the cervix, we insert a speculum into your vagina. We send a few sample cells to a laboratory to be analyzed under a microscope.
Dr. Subroto Bhattacharya’s team at Danvers Family Doctors, P.C. welcomes your call or online appointment today. For women’s health, we offer expert care, including the life-saving Pap smear.