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Abnormal Pap

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A Pap smear, also called a Pap test, is what Dr. Constant-Peter will perform to check for changes in the cells of your cervix, the lower part of your uterus that opens into your vagina. The results of your Pap smear can tell her if you have an infection, abnormal cervical cells or cervical cancer.

Regular Pap tests have led to a significant reduction in cervical cancer deaths because regular Pap smears can detect the earliest signs of cervical cancer such as abnormal cells and human papillomavirus (HPV) infection.

There are many reasons for "abnormal" Pap test results. If results of the Pap test are unclear or show a small change in the cells of the cervix, Dr. Constant-Peter will probably repeat the Pap test.

HPV infection is a major risk factor that leads to cervical cancer and abnormal Pap smears. To reduce your risk of HPV infection:

  • Do not have sex before age 18
  • Do not have multiple sex partners
  • Get immunized to prevent HPV infection

Tests to Diagnose Abnormal Pap Smears

Annual Pap tests are your best defense against developing serious conditions. Learning your Pap smear was abnormal can be scary. Depending on the results, Dr. Constant-Peter may simply repeat the test to eliminate a “false positive.”

If the Pap smear finds more serious changes in the cells of the cervix, she will recommend additional tests to help in diagnosis including:

Colposcopy, which uses a colposcope to see cervical and vaginal cells in greater detail

Endocervical curettage in which your doctor takes a sample of cells from the endocervical canal

Biopsy of cervical tissue which is sent to a lab to for further study

Treatments and Therapies for Abnormal Pap Smears

Treatment and therapies for abnormal Pap smears depend on the underlying cause. Some abnormal cells will turn into cancer, but more often, the unhealthy cells will go away on their own or can be removed or treated in the doctor’s office. Treating the unhealthy cells can significantly reduce your chances of developing cervical cancer.

  • Ablative procedures
  • Excision procedures
  • Cervical cone biopsy (conization)
  • Cryosurgery
  • Laser ablation

If you have ever had an abnormal Pap smear or pap test and want to learn more about what you should do, contact our practice at 407.306.0982 or visit our contact page.