Pap Smear Conventional method
"A Pap Smear test is a screening test for cervical cancer. It is used to detect abnormal or potentially abnormal cells from the vagina and uterine cervix. Various bacterial, fungal, and viral infections of the uterus may also be detected using this test.
Cervical cancer is caused by the uncontrolled growth of cells in the cervix, the narrowed bottom portion of a woman's uterus. Cervical cancer begins slowly. The earliest, precancerous changes cause the cells lining the inside or outside of the cervix to appear different from normal cervical cells. These changes, when present on a Pap test, are called """"atypical cells."""" However, atypical cells are not entirely specific for a precancerous condition and can temporarily appear in response to infections or irritation of the cervix lining. If precancerous, the atypical cells can become more abnormal in appearance over time and are more likely to progress to cancer if left untreated.
Pap tests, when performed routinely, have been a great help in the detection and treatment of areas of precancerous cells, which help to prevent cervical cancer from developing. In addition, the test can help detect cervical cancer in the early stages, when it is most treatable. The Pap test is also used to monitor any abnormalities or unusual findings. In many cases, these findings are part of the body's repair process and often resolve themselves without any further treatment.
Almost all cases of cervical cancer are caused by persistent infections with certain types of human papilloma virus (HPV). HPV types 16 and 18 account for about 70% of cervical cancers in the U.S. HPV DNA tests detect the high-risk HPV types and are currently recommended along with a Pap test every 5 years for women age 30-65. HPV tests are not recommended for younger women because HPV infections are common in this age group and usually resolve without treatment. However, if a young woman has an abnormal Pap test, then HPV testing may be done.
In 2015, a panel of experts representing several major health organizations developed interim guidelines that say that HPV testing without a Pap test may be offered as an option for cervical cancer screening to women age 25 and older.
** Why to test Pap Smear Conventional method ?**
PAP Smear test is done to screen for cervical cancer and certain vaginal or uterine infections. For women age 21 or older, once every 3 to 5 years depending on your age, risk factors, use of other screening tests, and your healthcare provider's advice.
** When to test Pap Smear Conventional method ?**
The appropriate frequency of Pap testing is dependent on age, concurrent use of the HPV DNA test, and risk factors (see Screening: Cervical Cancer (Young Adults), (Adults), (Adults 50 and Up)). The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, and the American Cancer Society recommend the following:
Screening with Pap tests should begin no earlier than age 21. Women between the ages of 21 and 30 should have a Pap test every 3 years. Women between the ages of 30 and 65 should have both a Pap test and an HPV test every 5 years (preferable); a Pap test alone every 3 years is also acceptable. After age 65, no screening is necessary if women have had adequate prior screening and no history of cervical cancer. This means that a woman who has had 3 consecutive negative Pap tests or 2 consecutive negative HPV DNA tests within the last 10 years, with the most recent within the last 5 years, no longer needs screening once she turns 65 years old. The recent interim guidelines on using HPV testing without a Pap test suggest that women who choose this option and have a negative result on an initial HPV test not be screened again for 3 years.
Some women may need more frequent cervical cancer screening. Women with the following conditions and circumstances should discuss shorter screening intervals with their healthcare provider:
HIV infection Suppressed immune system for other reasons, such as organ transplant Exposure to DES (diethylstilbestrol) during their mothers' pregnancy Previous treatment for cervical cancer or a condition called cervical intraepithelial neoplasia-2 or 3 (CIN 2, CIN 3) A health practitioner may also order a Pap test when a woman has multiple sexual partners, is pregnant, or has abnormal vaginal bleeding, pain, sores, discharge, or itching."
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