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Before Pap smears became a routine part of gynecological pelvic exams, cervical cancer was one of the leading causes of cancer death in women. If you’re in need of a Pap smear, Faina Akselrod, MD, FACOG, FACS, or Genia Bekker, MD, FACOG, FACS, at Advanced Gynecology & Surgery, conveniently located in the Sheepshead Bay section of Brooklyn and serving women from around New York City, can help. Call today or schedule an appointment using the online booking button.
A Pap smear, sometimes called a Pap test, is a routine exam that checks women for cervical cancer by scraping a sampling of cells from their cervix. The test itself can detect early changes in your cervical cells that, with treatment, may help prevent the cells from turning cancerous.
Your OB/GYN at Advanced Gynecology & Surgery determines how often you need a Pap smear. You should start testing at age 21 and get tested every three years up to age 65.
In your 30s, your OB/GYN may combine your Pap smear with a human papillomavirus (HPV) test. HPV is a viral infection spread through sexual contact. Certain strains of HPV increase your risk of cervical cancer. The results of your combined Pap smear and HPV test may determine how frequently you need to get tested.
If your HPV test is negative, you may need a Pap smear only every five years. However, certain risk factors may increase your need for testing, such as:
You may also need more frequent testing if you’re a smoker.
If your Pap smear comes back positive, then abnormal cells were discovered. Further testing and treatment depend on the types of cells found.
ASCUS are abnormal cells that require a special test to look for HPV. If HPV isn’t found, then no other tests are needed and the cells aren’t considered high risk.
Squamous intraepithelial lesion is a term that indicates precancerous cells were found during your Pap smear. If your cells are considered low-grade, then it may mean you’re years away from developing cancer, but if the cells are high-grade, additional testing is needed to assess your risk.
Atypical glandular cells aren’t cancer, but they may require further testing if they appear on your Pap smear.
If your Pap smear indicates squamous cell cancer or adenocarcinoma cells, then cancer was found and treatment is necessary.
For compassionate women’s care from a team of experts, call Advanced Gynecology & Surgery today to schedule your Pap smear. Or use the online booking button.