Pap smears are a screening tool for cervical cancer, which used to be the top cause of cancer death in women before such testing became widespread. Board-certified OB/GYN Carolyn Riley, MD, at CornerstoneMD in Dallas, takes a proactive and preventive approach to care and performs Pap smears at her North Texas office. When it comes to cancer, early detection is key to ensuring optimal outcomes. Protect your health by scheduling an appointment online or by phone today.
A Pap smear, also referred to as a Pap test or cervical smear, is a screening tool Dr. Riley uses to assess your risk for cervical cancer. The simple test is named after the doctor who invented the procedure in 1923, Georgios Papanikolaou, and is the most common screening tool used for cervical cancer.
Regular Pap screenings can significantly reduce your risk of death from cervical cancer. Catching changes in your tissue early can improve your response to treatment.
You should have a Pap smear at least once every three years starting at age 21 up until age 65. However, Dr. Riley may recommend more frequent Pap smears based on your medical history or if you’ve had a previous abnormal test.
If it’s been more than three years since your last Pap smear, contact CornerstoneMD today to schedule this simple screening.
The Pap smear is a simple in-office procedure. During the test, Dr. Riley has you sit on an exam table and then inserts a speculum into your vagina to expand the canal so she can access your cervix. Then, she gently swabs cells from your cervical tissue.
You may feel some cramping during the swabbing, but any discomfort should disappear quickly. Dr. Riley then sends your sample of cells out for testing, which is transferred to a glass slide and evaluated under a microscope to look for precancerous changes.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a very common sexually transmitted disease. Certain strains of HPV increase your chances of cervical cancer. Most precancerous changes to the cervical cells are caused by this viral infection.
It may take up to a week for Dr. Riley to get the results of your Pap smear. If your Pap smear comes back positive, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have cervical cancer. Dr. Riley recommends additional testing to identify the underlying cause of your cell changes and then develops an appropriate treatment plan.
A Pap smear is a routine screening that can save your life. To schedule your Pap smear, call CornerstoneMD or book an appointment online today.