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Pap smear

A pap smear also known as the Pap test or cervical smear test is done to detect any possible signs of cancer of the cervix. The test was invented by Dr Georgios Papanikolaou. This test helps the doctor to predict those women who are prone to cancer and thus help avoid it. Cell samples are taken from the vagina, the endocervix (place where the cervix and the lining of the uterus joins) and the exocervix (opening of the cervix) to carry out the test. A special instrument called the speculum is inserted into the vagina thus enabling the cervix to open. A negative pap smear can prove that you are normal. A positive test result will indicate that the cells in your cervix are undergoing a number of changes. A positive pap smear can indicate:

  • Inflammation or infection of the cervix which can be due to yeast or herpes virus or any other infection.
  • Very early signs of cervical cancer or dysplasia.
  • Severe signs of cancer.
  • Advanced stage of cancer.

Pap smears must be undertaken by all women above the age of 18, especially those with an active sex life. If there is any strange vaginal discharge, a pap test is usually recommended. Typically the cells collected from the cervical region are placed on a slide and sent for detection of abnormality. Cells can also be transferred through a special liquid.

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Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: November 19, 2019