Women should have pap smears regularly to protect and preserve their health. The doctors at The Women’s Health Center in Fountain Valley, California, provide pap smears to women from Orange County and the Greater Los Angeles Area.
A pap smear is a medical exam in which the doctor scans for cancer or precancerous cells in the cervix, uterus, and vagina. The procedure consists of a gentle scraping of a group of cells and examined in a lab for abnormalities or signs of cancer. Pap smears are a quite common procedure for women and a necessary measure of preventative health.
A pap smear is necessary to test for cervical cancer and other issues related to the reproductive health of the woman. Additionally, a test for HPV is often conducted while the Pap smear is being completed. HPV or the Human Papillomavirus is commonly linked to the development of cervical cancer. Since HPV is quite common, it is likely that most sexually active adults will contract it sometime in their life. HPV is a general term for a family of viruses, and not all of these viruses cause cervical cancer, however, it is often prudent to be safe and be tested to ensure that the cancer-causing viruses are not present.
Abnormal cells are often categorized into one of three categories. These categories are irregular/atypical precancerous, and cancerous. Irregular cells can merely be a sign of inflammation. This inflammation is most commonly caused by the use of a diaphragm or vaginal infection. If cells are precancerous, the likely sign is that they are at an early stage of growth and could possibly develop into something malignant if not treated, which can be done in the office. If cancerous cells are detected, further testing should be conducted to determine how to combat the cancer.
Depending on the results of the exam, doctors will have a variety of options. If irritation is noted, a doctor can write a script for an anti-inflammatory or steroid medication to reduce the inflammation. If precancerous cells are detected, the doctor will likely need to perform a biopsy of the affected area to determine the course of the spread of mutated cells. Depending on the spread of the pre-cancerous cells, a low-level invasive procedure may be completed to remove the affected area. If the cancer has spread too far, possible removal of the affected organ may take place. This can be very scary to women who are affected by cancer but fortunately, it is very rare for women getting regular pap smears. Women should discuss all medical options with their doctor before making an informed decision about how to proceed.
"Follow up is always fast and over 17 years, I have not ever experienced anything but friendliness, compassion, and caring from everyone there."
"Been going here for over 15 years. Never had a bad experience. The doctors have all been compassionate and helpful."
"I really like this place! I came here before I got pregnant and now I keep it as my primary care during my pregnancy. I would recommend The Women's Health Center."
"I went here for my pregnancy and received very good care. Doctors and Nurse Practitioners are highly professional and nice. I would highly recommend this practice."
"The staff was always very kind, friendly and helpful and, best of all, I seldom had to wait very long for my appointments."
"I have been a patient in this office for 5 years and during that time I have had the opportunity to consult with 3 of the doctors--all of them were wonderful."
"Dr. Nguyen is amazing and the hubby and I are so thankful I have her as my OB. I can say that she is extremely genuine and caring and it makes everything better."
"You can trust Dr. Nguyen when you have any concerns or questions during pregnancy. What I love about her is that I didn't feel rushed."
"I was so happy when I found out I was having twins this year cause I knew she was gonna be my doctor! She takes her time with her patients and is so smart and kind."
"Dr. Nguyen herself is very knowledgeable, very very informative, answers all my questions (small and big), so reliable, and had a great personality."
"Dr. Tracy never failed to be honest, discuss risks with us. She is also such a genuine and caring person and doctor."
"I've been following Dr. Tracy for over 14 years. She is an excellent OBGYN who has performed 3 of my C-sections."
"Dr. Tracy is extremely knowledgable and thorough. She is able to answer all my questions. I can definitely trust her with my life. I recommend her."
"I honestly feel that Dr. Tracy is like an old friend--we get to catch up once or twice a year. I feel comfortable talking to her about anything."
"My last pregnancy was amazing with no complications and Dr. Tracy was great!!"
"She is so calm and caring. I loved being able to be 100% myself when I had an appointment with her."