Over the past 40 years, rates of cervical cancer in women have been on a rapid decline thanks to the Pap smear. This simple screening test for women detects changes in cervical cells early so you can get the care you need to get the best possible outcome. Dr. Robin McKinney, DO, and her team at Cosmopolitan Medical Practice in East Harlem, New York, provide comprehensive family medical care, which includes Pap smears for women. To schedule your Pap smear, call the office today, or request an appointment online.
A Pap smear, also referred to as a Pap test, is a screening tool the team at Cosmopolitan Medical Practice uses to evaluate cervical cells for abnormalities that may indicate cervical cancer. Finding changes to your cells early may improve your overall outcome during treatment, and may even cure your cancer.
Your Pap smear may also provide information about your future risk of cervical cancer, which can be used to determine how often you should undergo the routine screening.
Your specialist at Cosmopolitan Medical Practice determines when you should get your Pap smear based on your age and medical history. It’s generally recommended that all women begin Pap smears by age 21 and continue screenings every three years up until age 65.
However, you may need more frequent screenings if abnormal cells were found during a previous test or you’re at risk of cervical cancer due to family history or you’re a smoker.
The Pap smear is a quick and gentle test. During your screening, your specialist at Cosmopolitan Medical Practice has you sit on an exam table with your feet up and your knees bent. Then, your specialist inserts a speculum into your vagina to separate the tissue and get a better view of your cervix.
Using a special tool, your specialist then gently scrapes cells from your cervix for evaluation. You shouldn’t feel any discomfort during your Pap smear. After the cells have been collected, your specialist puts them into a container and sends them to the lab for an evaluation.
To ensure you get the most accurate results, you should abstain from intercourse, douching, and the use of other vaginal treatments for up to two days prior to your test. You should also schedule your Pap smear when you aren’t menstruating.
A positive Pap smear doesn’t mean you have cervical cancer. If your test results are positive, your specialist at Cosmopolitan Medical Practice may recommend further testing to more closely evaluate your cervical cells so you can get the answers you need and the most effective treatment.
A Pap smear is an important screening test every woman needs. To schedule your Pap smear, call Cosmopolitan Medical Practice today, or request an appointment online.