Cancer is one of the most feared diseases today. This aggressive disease has taken millions of lives and until now, many individuals are still fighting their battle. Among women, cervical cancer is one of the deadliest cancers.
Cervical cancer affects the cervix, the opening that protects the uterus. In Australia alone, 813 new cases of cervical cancer have been diagnosed in 2013. This year, experts estimate that 912 new cases will be diagnosed in the country.
Early detection of cervical cancer is important to have a good prognosis. The earlier you know you have cancer, the earlier doctors can start treatment.
Pap smear of Pap test is the most common test done to detect cancer in the cervix.
What Is Pap Smear?
A Pap smear is used to screen for cervical cancer and is usually done together with a pelvic exam. For women who are 30 years old and above, this test is combined with human papillomavirus (HPV) test. HPV, a sexually transmitted disease, is one of the causes of cervical cancer.
How Is The Procedure Done?
The procedure aims to test for the presence of precancerous or cancerous cells on the cervix. The doctor will perform the Pap smear using sterile gynae instruments from trusted suppliers, such as Hallmark Surgical. It may be mildly uncomfortable but it doesn’t cause long-term pain. The doctor gets samples of cells in the cervix for a laboratory exam.
How Often Is It Done?
According to new guidelines, cervical cancer screening is recommended for ladies starting at age 21 for every three years. Even after menopause, women should continue to have regular Pap smear tests. They should also undergo HPV tests regularly.
Visiting your OB doctor regularly is important to detect early signs of problems or diseases that can affect your reproductive health. These diseases are sometimes life-threatening, like cervical cancer. As such, early detection is essential for a good prognosis and early, appropriate treatment.