Cervical Cancer Screening
No woman should die of Cervical cancer, screening leads to fewer deaths.
For women between the ages of 21 to 29, it is recommended that you have Pap tests every three years. During a pap test, a doctor or a nurse will collect cells for the Pap test during the exam. The Pap test can help find abnormal cells that may develop into cancer if left untreated. For women between the ages of 30 to 65, you have 2 options which you can decide together with your doctor which would the best for you. You have the choice of doing a Pap test every three years or a Pap test plus an HPV test every five years. The HPV test can find the HPV virus by testing cells collected at the same time as a Pap test.
Women should be examined as recommended. More frequent screening does not provide better protection.
1. Some women may need a different screening plan based on their health history.
2. Women over 65 should ask their doctor if they need to continue screening.
3. Women should talk to their doctors and nurses to find out about their screening results.
4. Women who receive the HPV vaccine should still start screening at age 21.
It may take up to three weeks to receive your test results. If your tests show a problem, your doctor will contact you and find out the best way forward. There are many reasons why test results may be abnormal. This does not usually mean you have cancer.
If your test results show abnormal cells that could become cancerous, your doctor will tell you if you need treatment. In most cases, treatment can prevent cervical cancer from developing. Be sure to contact your doctor right away to learn more about your test results and to get any treatment you may need.
If your test results are normal, your chance of developing cervical cancer in the next few years is very small. Your doctor may tell you that you can wait several years for your next cervical cancer screening test. However, you should see your doctor regularly for check-ups.