what are pap smears

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  • What is a Pap smear and how is it done?

  • A Pap smear, also called a Pap test, is an exam a doctor uses to test for cervical cancer in women. It can also reveal changes in your cervical cells that may turn into cancer later. Why Is a Pap Smear Done?

  • What is the difference between a Pap smear and HPV test?

  • The Pap smear is usually done in conjunction with a pelvic exam. In women older than age 30, the Pap test may be combined with a test for human papillomavirus (HPV) 鈥?a common sexually transmitted infection that can cause cervical cancer. In some cases, the HPV test may be done instead of a Pap smear.

  • What do abnormal Pap smear results mean?

  • In rare cases, abnormal cells in a pap smear can be a sign of cancer in your cervix or uterus. If your doctor suspects that your test results might indicate a serious problem, they may have you come in for more tests, like a colonoscopy or a biopsy (tissue sample). [24]

  • Is the Pap smear being replaced by the cervical screening test?

  • But now the Pap smear has been replaced by a similar procedure, called the Cervical Screening Test. The National Cervical Screening Program now offers women aged 25 to 74 the Cervical Screening Test 鈥?done every 5 years instead of every 2 years. And rather than starting screening at 18, women can now start screening at 25 years old.

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