what all is tested during a pap smear

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Cervical cancer

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  • What is a Pap smear test?

  • A Pap smear, also called a Pap test, is a procedure to test for cervical cancer in women. A Pap smear involves collecting cells from your cervix 鈥?the lower, narrow end of your uterus that’s at the top of your vagina.

  • How often do you need a Pap smear test?

  • If Pap test results are normal and cancerous cells are not found, women do not need to have another Pap smear done for three years unless their doctor discovers abnormalities during a well-woman鈥檚 exam that would warrant a Pap test to be done sooner.

  • Can a Pap test detect cervical cancer?

  • 鈥淭he Pap test can detect changes in cells that could be concerning for possible cervical cancer or precancerous changes,鈥?says Northwestern Medicine Obstetrician and Gynecologist Melissa A. Simon, MD, MPH.

  • How do you do a simple Pap test?

  • Pap test. Pap test In a Pap test, your doctor uses a vaginal speculum to hold your vaginal walls apart. Next, a sample of cells from your cervix is collected using a small cone-shaped brush and a tiny wooden spatula (1 and 2). Your doctor then rinses the brush and spatula in a liquid-filled vial (3) and sends the vial to a laboratory for testing.

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