are pap smears necessary

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  • Why are pap smears necessary?

  • The goal of pap smears is to identify high-grade precancerous cervical lesions and early-stage asymptomatic invasive cervical cancer. While it is true that pap smears have helped to reduce many cervical cancer cases, too many unnecessary pap smears are done.

  • When should a woman have a Pap smear test?

  • Women ages 30 and over should have testing for the human papillomavirus (HPV) with their Pap smear. HPV is the cause of cervical cancer. Women under age 30 are not tested for the virus because 80 percent of sexually active women will have this virus. Most women clear it once they are in their 30s.

  • Can a Pap smear cause cervical cancer?

  • Although most types of cervical cancers are caused by the sexually transmitted infection, human papillomavirus (HPV), it does not cause every type of cervical cancer. As a result, Pap smears are a necessary screening for patients whether they are sexually active or not. A Pap smear does not actually screen for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

  • Should I get tested for HPV with a Pap smear?

  • Women ages 30 and over should have testing for the human papillomavirus (HPV) with their Pap smear. HPV is the cause of cervical cancer. Women under age 30 are not tested for the virus because 80 percent of sexually active women will have this virus.

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