A Pap smear is an important test in evaluating a woman’s health, and it can be an important early predictor of cervical cancer. If you’re due for a Pap smear, Patel & Patel, M.D., Inc. in South Charleston, West Virginia, can help. OB/GYN Kiran Patel, MD, family medicine physician Leela Patel, MD, and their team perform Pap smears as well as HPV tests and vaccinations. Testing takes place onsite, guaranteeing a quick turnaround, so call Patel & Patel, M.D., Inc. today to arrange your Pap smear or book an appointment online.

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What is a Pap smear?

A Pap smear is a test that can detect cervical cancer and even signs of abnormal cervical cells before cancer develops. Also called a Pap test, it is normally done during an annual well-woman exam.

Who needs to have a Pap smear?

Every woman 21 years of age or older needs to have a Pap smear done on a schedule recommended by their OB/GYN. The schedule may vary depending on age and previous Pap smear results. It may range from yearly to every three or five years, depending on your needs.

Your provider at Patel & Patel, M.D., Inc. places you on an appropriate schedule based on your medical history and risk factors for cervical cancer. Most women may stop cervical cancer screening at the age of 65.

What should I expect from a Pap smear appointment?

A Pap smear takes only a few minutes and it’s usually just one small component of a well-woman exam. During the Pap smear and pelvic exam, you lie comfortably on an exam table and place your feet in stirrups. Your provider at Patel & Patel, M.D., Inc. inserts a speculum into your vagina, which allows them to visualize and access the cervix so a small sample of cells can be taken.

The cell sample is evaluated in the lab so that early signs of cervical cancer or other problems can be identified.

What happens when a Pap smear has abnormal results?

There is no need to panic if a Pap smear result is abnormal. Many women have abnormal Pap test results, but this does not automatically translate into cancer. Your provider at Patel & Patel, M.D., Inc. discusses the results with you and walks you through the next steps. With atypical results, the test is often repeated at a later date before other steps are taken.

The early detection offered by a Pap smear means that most women can start treatment promptly and avoid the progression of abnormal cells into cancer. The treatment approach taken depends on the severity of the problem and on how early the indicators of atypical or abnormal cells were discovered.

To arrange your Pap smear, call Patel & Patel, M.D., Inc. today or book an appointment online.