Cervical cancer screening was introduce in the U.S. in the late 1940s by Dr. George Papaniclaou and decide to develop Pap smears. A Pap smear or The Papanicolaou test is a screening test for cells from the cervix and vagina. (The cervix is the part of the uterus projecting into the vagina). Cervical and vaginal cells are examined to determine if there are signs of cancer or pre-cancerous changes. If abnormal cells are, they are classified by degree.

Most abnormal Pap smears are caused by cervical infection or inflammation, which can usually be successfully treated before leading to cancer. An anal Pap smear is a modification of the procedure to screen and detect anal cancer.

It is highly recommended that women who have had sex, to regular Pap smear test. Guidelines for the frequency vary from year to five years. If results are abnormal, and depending on the type of abnormality, the test should be repeated in three to twelve months. If the exemption requires further investigation, the patient may be given for a thorough examination of the cervix by colposcopy. The patient may also be referred for HPV DNA testing, which can serve as a complement to Pap tests.

Abnormal Pap smear results may indicate:

  • Infection (including human papillomavirus, HPV)
  • Swelling or inflammation
  • Pre-cancer cell changes
  • Cervical cancer

Pap smears of the medical community as a reliable screening method to detect cervical cancer, together with regular pelvic level cranial studies. But Pap smear can not detect most other types of cancer, such as ovarian or uterine cancer, or sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), with the exception of human papillomavirus (HPV).



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