Why is this important?
- Every year, 11,000 women in the US women will be diagnosed with cervical cancer
- About 4,000 women will die from cervical cancer
- Many more women will be diagnosed with pre-cancerous cervical changes from an HPV infection and require treatment to prevent it from progressing to cancer
What is a Pap Smear?
When a woman has a Pap smear, a very small amount of cells are collected from her cervix. This is usually painless and takes less than a minute. The cells are then evaluated for any changes that could indicate a pre-cancerous or cancerous condition. The cells can also be checked to see if they’ve been infected with HPV, Human Papilloma Virus, which can lead to cervical cancer.
How often should a women have a Pap Smear?
These are the Guidelines from the American Cancer Society
- Begin Cervical Cancer screening with a Pap at age 21
- Women 21- 29: Pap smear every 3 years
- Women 30 – 65: Pap smear plus HPV co-testing every 3 – 5 years
- Women over 65: It depends upon their personal medical history and they should check with their providers
Disclosure: I am working with Hologic, the providers of Thin Prep Pap smears and the Aptima HPV assay.