Pap Smear Q & A
Why is a Pap smear important?
A Pap smear is the most effective test for evaluating your cervix and detecting the presence of precancerous or cancerous cells. While cervical cancer progresses slowly, it’s known to be life-threatening if it isn’t caught early.
In the United States alone, roughly 4,250 women die from cervical cancer in a given year. But with routine Pap tests, you can find out early on if you have any abnormal cells so that you can get started on treatment right away.
What do my Pap smear results mean?
Your OB/GYN at Advanced Obstetrics & Gynecology sends your Pap smear specimen off to the lab for evaluation. If your results are normal — a negative Pap result — no further testing is necessary. But if your Pap smear is abnormal or positive, the team at Advanced Obstetrics & Gynecology gives you a call to schedule a follow-up appointment. But don’t panic.
Your OB/GYN discusses your results with you, so you can receive the education you need about your diagnosis. An abnormal Pap test could be a sign of:
- Atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance (abnormal cells)
- Squamous cell cancer or adenocarcinoma cells (cancerous cells)
- Squamous intraepithelial lesions (precancerous cells)
- Atypical glandular cells (abnormal cells)
Depending on the outcome of your Pap test, your OB/GYN could recommend a colposcopy, which is an in-office procedure that involves using a specialized scope. The colposcope gives your OB/GYN a clearer glimpse of your cervical cells, and if anything abnormal is detected, they can take a quick biopsy on the spot.
What is the treatment for abnormal Pap test results?
You don’t always need treatment for an abnormal Pap smear, so your doctor may encourage you to come in for routine exams and Pap tests more frequently to see if there are any changes to your cervical cells.
Advanced Obstetrics & Gynecology also provides the following treatments for abnormal Pap smear results:
- Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure (LEEP)
- Cold Knife Conization (CKC)
- Minimally invasive surgery, such as a hysterectomy
If cancerous cells are present, you may also need radiation or chemotherapy. But the compassionate team at Advanced Obstetrics & Gynecology cares for you every step of the way and helps you find the best course of treatment for your unique needs.
You can book your Pap smear at Advanced Obstetrics & Gynecology directly through the website, or you can call to schedule over the phone.