Pap Smear

Pap Smear ( Pap Test) is a brilliant discovery of Dr. George Papanicolaous to diagnose  cancerous and pre cancerous cells in  the cervix.

All women who have been sexually active should have an annual Pap  Smear.It is the best tool to detect pre-cancerous conditions and hidden , small tumours that may lead to cervical cancer. If it is detected early, it can be cured.

A normal Pap Smear means the cells look normal. It can occasionally show signs of infection but can’t be  relied on to screen STD  (sexually transmitted disease).To avoid the wrong result , avoidance of sex, douching and vaginal cream should not be used 48 hrs before the test.

There are many causes for abnormal Pap Smear. It does not necessarily mean that cancer cells were found during the exam, if the abnormal results repeat again, Colposcopy is referred.

Colposcopy is a type of exam of the cervix and the walls of vagina.

Women with certain risk factors such as HIV positive, a weakened immuned system due to Chemotherapy, organ transplant, chronic steroid use should continue to screen more frequently.

When cancer is present in the cervix, the most common symptom is abnormal bleeding.  Bleeding may start and stop between sexual intercourse, abnormal white discharge is another  symptom someone may find. So not to neglect, just consult the doctor.

As a dietition we come across with a very common question that if someone has a Hysterectomy do they need to get Pap Smear? In that case , after a total hysterectomy Pap smear can be discontinued still with the consult of a doctor. But in partial hysterectomy with the cervix removing, one should continue Pap Smear…

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  1. Khushi

    Very good topics

  2. Anonymous

    Sharmila, thank you. I always wondered what happens with a postivite pap result.

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