During a cervical cancer screening, more commonly referred to as a pap smear or pap exam, cells are collected from the cervix to screen for cervical cancer or abnormal cells, infection or inflammation. Cervical cancer screening is an important part of a woman’s routine healthcare because it may detect abnormalities that can lead to invasive cancer. Most cancers of the cervix can be detected early if women have pap exams and pelvic examinations regularly. As with many types of cancer, cervical cancer is more likely to be successfully treated if it is detected early.
At A Woman’s View, we recommend an annual pelvic and breast exam. In the past, pap tests were performed annually. With newer and more accurate tests now available, the pap test can include additional testing that is more specific in screening for cervical cancer. Most patients will receive a pap test usually every 3-5 years. Your clinician will discuss the recommendations based on your age, medical history, risk factors and previous pap test results. Most insurers will include a pap test in the wellness visit but if it is not included, it is still important to have an annual breast and pelvic exam..