Pap Smears Help Early Detection Of Cervical Cancer
A Pap smear can save your life. The Women’s Clinic of Northern Colorado offers Pap smears, or a Pap test, to screen for cervical cancer in women of all ages. The screening includes collecting cells from your cervix, the narrow end of your uterus. A Pap smears helps detect cervical cancer early to offer patients a greater chance for easier treatment. It will also detect any changes in your cervical cells that could turn into cancer in the future. Detecting abnormal cells early helps stop the development of cervical cancer. One thing to remember is that a Pap smear does not detect ovarian cancer. Contact us to learn more.
When Should I Get A Pap Smear?
Women should start getting Pap smears at age 21. Many times, doctors will wait three years between screening until you are 30 years old. Ages 30 to 65, doctors recommend Pap tests and primary HPV testing. Doctors will usually allow patients to wait five years between primary HPV tests if the results are normal. If you are older than 65, you may no longer need Pap smears or additional testing if you have consistent normal test results or have removed your cervix as part of a hysterectomy.
An Abnormal Pap Test
If your Pap smear is abnormal, it means there were abnormal cells found in your cervix. This does not mean you have cancer. Many times, abnormal cells are caused by types of human papillomavirus. These cell changes usually disappear on their own. Some types of HPV are linked to cervical cancer, so it is essential to take a Pap test regularly. Sometimes cells change due to infection, which can easily be treated. Older women’s cells may change after menopause. If you have sex without condoms, you’re at increased risk for HPV that raises the risk of abnormal results. HPV may stay in your body for many years. An impaired immune system and smoking may also lead to abnormal cell changes.
Do Abnormal Cells Cause Symptoms?
HPV and cell changes don’t usually cause symptoms. If you have a sexually transmitted infection, you may have vaginal discharge different from your usual amount, odor, color, or texture. You may also notice sores, lumps, warts, rashes, or blisters in your genitals. You will need to have further testing to determine if your cell changes are severe. Your doctor may ask you to take a colposcopy, HPV test, or another Pap smear.
Contact The Women’s Clinic Today
We’ve always been a pioneer to provide the best care for women. We’ll help determine your health issues and treatment for those problems. We’ll keep your mind at ease and guide you through the process. Pap smears are done on an everyday basis, so we’re experts in our field. You’re safe in our hands. We have two locations to serve the communities in Northern Colorado. The Fort Collins clinic is located at 1107 South Lemay, Suite 300, and the Loveland office is adjacent to the Medical Center of the Rockies at 2500 Rocky Mountain Ave. North Office Building Suite 150. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.