When it comes to cervical cancer, early detection, and intervention is key. At Trade Winds Family Medicine in Kailua, a dedicated team of health care professionals will look for any abnormalities in your cervix with a Pap smear. Call to book an appointment today to learn more about the women’s health services at Trade Winds Family Medicine
Pap Smear Question & Answer
A Pap smear is a quick procedure that screens for abnormalities of your cervix that may indicate the presence of cancer. Most abnormal pap smears do not indicate cancer, but they can identify patients that need further, more definitive testing, or closer monitoring.
Should your test results show an abnormality, a colposcopy and biopsy may be recommended. This test will help to determine the degree to which the cells are abnormal. A colposcope magnifies the surface of your cervix so that it can be seen more clearly by the physician. These services can all be performed at Trade Winds Family Medicine.
Sexually active women who are 21-29 years of age, are advised to get a Pap smear once every three years to screen for cervical cancer. Women 30 and older are recommended to get a pap smear in combination with a human papillomavirus (HPV) test every 5 years. Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a sexually transmitted infection that increases your risk of developing certain cancers, including cervical cancer.
Once you are brought into the exam room, you will lie down on the table and place your feet in stirrups, which are holders for your feet to rest comfortably.
Your provider then inserts a plastic speculum, a medical tool, into your vagina,in order to separate your vaginal walls so that she can see your cervix.
Next, your provider takes a swab of your cervix and sends the cells off to the lab for testing.
You should receive your results within a few weeks. If the results are abnormal, your health care team will talk to you about your next steps, which may include further testing such as a colposcopy — a very close examination of your cervix.
Yes. Although an HPV screening and a Pap smear are both early detection protocols they are distinctly different tests, yet commonly collected at the same time. For women ages 30-65, and HPV test is recommended to be done at the same time as a screening pap smear. For women ages 21-29, it is recommended to be done if abnormal cells show on the pap smear.
In addition to regular Pap smears for all females once they turn 21, the most important additional step you can take to prevent cervical cancer is getting the HPV vaccine series for all 11 to 26 year olds. The vaccine can help protect against several dangerous strains of HPV. The optimal time to begin the HPV vaccine series is at age 11, and prior to the onset of sexual activity. However, there is significant value to vaccinating through the age of 26.
Call Trade Winds Family Medicine today to learn more about the importance of Pap smears and cervical cancer prevention. (808) 263-7383