A Pap smear is one of the most important preventive tests women can have. With this simple and fast test, your experienced care provider at DFW MDcare in Plano, Texas, can check for abnormal cell growth that may lead to cervical cancer. By identifying suspicious cells early, you’ve got the best chance of preventing cervical cancer. Reach out to the practice to schedule your Pap smear by booking online or calling the office today.
A Pap smear, also called a Pap test, is a minor in-office procedure that looks for abnormal cell growth in your cervix. All women between 21-65 need to have Pap smears regularly because Pap smears and HPV tests are some of the best early identification tools available for cervical cancer today.
Pap smear recommendations are customized based on your age, your cancer risk, your medical history, and other factors unique to you. The United States Preventive Services Task Force and The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend Pap smears every three years from age 21-29.
From age 30-65, they recommend Pap smears every three years or every five years if you have HPV co-testing. After age 65, you may not need Pap smears any longer if your last several tests were normal.
Of course, these recommendations apply to healthy women with no risk factors for cervical cancer. If you have an abnormal Pap smear or other health issues, your testing frequency may change. Your doctor at DFW MDcare will recommend a Pap smear frequency that works for your needs.
Usually, Pap smears occur during the pelvic exam portion of a women's wellness exam. Your doctor dilates your cervix with a speculum and then takes a small cell sample from your cervix using a swab or a small brush. Although you may feel some pressure, a Pap smear isn't usually painful, and it takes just a couple of minutes.
A normal Pap smear, the ideal result, indicates that you don't have any abnormal cells. An abnormal Pap smear doesn't mean you've got cervical cancer, but it could mean you're at risk. Depending on how severe the abnormal cell growth is, your care provider may recommend a repeat Pap smear or more in-depth testing like a colposcopy. If you do have early cervical cancer, you can start treatment right away to prevent you from developing full-blown cancer.
Use the online scheduler or call DFW MDcare to schedule your Pap smear today.