What comes to your mind when you hear a person has cervical cancer? Most people have a perspective that the individual will not survive for long. However, do you know that if cervical cancer is detected early, 92% of the people may have up to a 5-year survival rate? However, the main problem is that most people know they are suffering when the condition has worsened. Upper West Side Pap smear has been used to reduce the risk of spreading cervical cancer. The following are facts you should understand before having a Pap smear.
What is a Pap smear?
It is referred to as a procedure that checks abnormal cell changes in the cervix. The process helps detect the precancerous cells, which can be removed before it develops into cervical cancer, saving a life.
What age should you undergo the test?
The specialists require the individuals who have attained the age of 21 years to undergo the test. However, there are exceptional cases where the doctors may require you to start earlier if you have a medical condition that makes you at a higher risk. For instance, the specialist can carry out a pelvic test before prescribing the best birth control.
Should Virgins undergo the test?
There has been a myth that people in a monogamous relationship or who are not sexually active should not undergo the test. However, the doctors recommend that every individual should undergo the screening for their sexual history since cervical cancer is not only caused by engaging in sexual activities.
How often should you undergo the test?
The number of times you should undergo the test is affected by your age or your medical condition.
- If you are aged between 21 and 29 years, you should undergo the test every three years.
- If you are aged between 30 and 65 years, you should consider undergoing a Pap smear and HPV test every five years.
- If you have exceeded 65 five years, you are not to be tested anymore.
- If you have HIV or a weakened immune system, you should undergo the test more often.
Does the testing hurt?
If it is done correctly, Pap smears should not hurt. If it is your time to have the test, you may feel a little uncomfortable. The main reason is that it is a new sensation that your body has to adapt to. Some people also say they feel a small pinch even though the pain threshold changes from one individual to another. The main reason is that people may have different underlying factors. Therefore, you should understand what causes discomfort and apply measures to reduce it.
Regardless of knowing the impact that it could have, most people are not ready to have Pap smears. Are you a woman aged 21 years or more and want to start taking care of your sexuality, but you are confused about where to start? You should worry no more because Karen F. Brodman, MD, is here to serve you. She is a Board-certified gynecologist who has been working for years to prevent cases of cervical cancer. Contact the office to book your appointment today.