Pap smears are screening tests with lower cost, easy accessibility and compromised accuracy. It is imperative to discuss with your OB/GYN your risk factors, history and customize not standardize your examination.
Routine forms of Cervical cancer should be eliminated with routine & not excessive evaluations in my professional view.
Cervical cancer rarely presents with symptomatology unless advanced.
The cervix is the opening of the uterus, located at the top of the vagina. When the abnormal cells of the cervix begin to divide at an accelerated rate they will penetrate deeper into the layers of the cervix and spread to other tissues and organs.
Causes of Cervical Cancer:
The most causative etiology is the high-risk category types of human papillomavirus (HPV) which can also cause cancer in other parts of the body, including the anus, vagina, vulva, neck, and head.
These are some risk factors for HPV infection:
- Early initiation of sexual activity
- Multiple sexual partners
- Having a sexual partner, especially a male partner, who has multiple sexual partners
- History of dysplasia
Family history of cervical cancer
- Some sexually transmitted infections (ex: chlamydia)
- Mother who took DES (diethylstilbestrol) during her pregnancy with you
Some warning signs of cervical cancer include:
- Spotting or abnormal vaginal bleeding
- Heavy menstrual bleeding
- Bleeding after sex
- For a Pap test, the sample is examined to see if abnormal cells are present.
- For an HPV test, the sample is tested for the presence of 13–14 of the most common high-risk HPV types.
- Women aged 21–29 years should have a Pap test alone every 3 years. HPV testing is not recommended.
- Women aged 30–65 years should have a Pap test and an HPV test (co-testing) every 5 years (preferred). It also is acceptable to have a Pap test alone every 3 years.
- you do not have a history of moderate or severe abnormal cervical cells or cervical cancer, and
- you have had either three negative Pap test results in a row or two negative co-test results in a row within the past 10 years, with the most recent test performed within the past 5 years.