A Pap smear is a screening test for cervical cancer. It looks for cancerous and precancerous cells. Since cervical cancer screening started, deaths from this cancer have gone down by 50 – 70%. This means more women survive because this cancer is prevented or detected and treated early.

How Is the Test Done?

Your doctor will use a small spatula or brush to collect cells from your cervix. The cervix is the narrow opening into your uterus at the top of the vagina. The cells are then placed on a microscope slide or in a liquid for view under a microscope. A specialist looks at the cells to see if they are abnormal. If the liquid method is used, the specimen can also be tested for human papillomavirus (HPV). Certain types of HPV raise the risk of cervical cancer.

 Why Get Tested?

Getting a Pap test regularly is so important. More than 50% of cervical cancer occurs in women who are not tested. Their cancer isn’t caught early. Your chances are better of surviving this cancer if it is detected and treated early. So, talk to your doctor and make sure you have your next Pap smear on schedule.

Get those pap smears so you can live more good years!