Thursday, January 14, 2016

How do you know when it’s time for a pap test?

Preventative health care can help you avoid serious illness and stay healthy for years to come. Routine checkups and screening tests are an important part of preventative health care and help your doctor manage your overall health. A vital screening test for women is the cervical cancer screening test - commonly known as the Pap test.

The Women's Health Center at Logansport Memorial Hospital includes Pap smears as a routine part of exams. Let's learn more about this effective screening tool.

What is a Pap smear?

A Pap smear or Pap test is a way to look for changing or potentially cancerous cells on a woman's cervix. A Pap test is often done as a routine part of a pelvic exam.

When should you have a Pap test?

  • If you are age 21-29 years, you should have the Pap test every 3 years.
  • If you are age 30-65, you should have the Pap test along with the HPV test every 5 years.
  • If you are age 65 or older, you may be able to stop having Pap and HPV tests if you have had normal results (such as, three normal results in a row and no abnormal results in the past 10 years).

Note: You will need to have Pap tests done more often if you have abnormal results. You may also need more frequent testing if you have certain conditions, like a suppressed immune system or a history of cervical dysplasia or cervical cancer. Talk to your doctor about the right screening schedule for you.

What can you expect from a Pap test?

A Pap test takes less than five minutes of time and is generally painless. Your doctor will use a tool to wipe your cervix and gather cells. Those cells are then sent to our laboratory for testing. You and your doctor will have the results within 2-3 weeks.

Cervical cancer screening dramatically reduces cervical cancer by finding early signs of cancer that improve the chances of successful treatment. Pap tests can even find abnormal cervical cells before they turn into cancer cells. Getting a Pap test is one of the best things you can do to prevent cervical cancer. Learn more about this effective screening test.

Screening tests are an important wellness tool to help you prevent serious illness. Many screening tests are recommended at certain ages or regular intervals. Talk to your doctor about which screening tests are recommended for your age and family history.

Our Women's Health Center is accepting new patients. Find a doctor.
Logansport Memorial Hospital Women's Health

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