The Pap test is a routine screening test used to find abnormal cell changes of the cervix and to screen for cervical cancer. Regular Pap test screening is the most important tool in finding and treating cervical cell changes before they progress to cervical cancer. The recommended Pap test schedule is based on your age and things that increase your risk. Talk to your doctor about how often to have this test. If cervical cancer is suspected, your doctor will ask about your medical history and do a physical exam, including a pelvic exam and a Pap test.
Tests to confirm a diagnosis of cervical cancer include:
Abnormal cervical cell changes rarely cause symptoms. If cervical cell changes progress to cancer, symptoms may include:
The symptoms of advanced cervical cancer may include:
Most women are recommended to have a pap smear every 3 years unless she is at a high risk of developing cervical cancer. After 30, the pap smear schedule can change to every 5 years if HPV testing is included and is negative.
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