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Pap test saves thousands of women
What is a
Why are a
Pap test and pelvic exam important?
A Pap test can
be done in a doctor’s office, a
clinic, or a hospital. While a woman
lies on an exam table, the clinician
inserts a speculum into her vagina
to widen it. A sample of cells is
taken from the cervix with a wooden
scraper and/or a small cervical
brush. The specimen (or smear) is
placed on a glass slide and
preserved with a fixative, or is
rinsed in a vial of fixative, and is
sent to a laboratory for
Women ages 65
to 70 who have had at least three
normal Pap tests and no abnormal Pap
tests in the last 10 years may
decide, after talking with their
clinician, to stop having Pap tests.
Women who have had a hysterectomy
(surgery to remove the uterus and
cervix) do not need to have a Pap
test, unless the surgery was done as
a treatment for precancer or cancer.
Most laboratories in the United States use a standard set of terms called the Bethesda System to report test results. Under the Bethesda System, Pap test samples that have no cell abnormalities are reported as “negative for intraepithelial lesion or malignancy.” Samples with cell abnormalities are divided into the following categories:
squamous cells. Squamous cells
are the thin flat cells that
form the surface of the cervix.
The Bethesda System divides this
category into two groups:
How common are
Pap test abnormalities?
electrosurgical excision procedure)
is surgery that uses an electrical
current which is passed through a
thin wire loop to act as a knife.
How do terms
for Pap test abnormalities compare,
and which tests and treatment
options may be appropriate?
How are human
papillomaviruses associated with the development of cervical cancer?
Rights: Abhisarika, India