Its complete name is actually called Papanicolaou test which is also called as Pap smear, Cervical smear or smear test. It used to detect pre-cancerous and cancerous processes in the endocervical canal or the transformation zone of the female reproductive system. The test is done by collecting cells from the outer opening of the cervix of the uterus and endocervix. Microscope is used to observe abnormalities among the cells. It detects potentially pre-cancerous changes caused by sexually transmitted human papillomavirus.
One of the good discoveries of science is the Pap test which has been found very efficient even today. As this was implemented in the US, there has been a decrease of around 70% among women getting cervical cancer. Women aging 21-65 years old are the ones recommended for this test such that they are at high risk of cervical cancer since these is the stage of fertility among women. Before, the recommended interval for Pap test would be every after 3 years and is not recommended for those under 21 or over 65 years. The interval was prolonged to 5 years according to the American Cancer Safety (ACS).
Just recently, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) created a research that showed that Pap test frequency guidelines are often ignored by the health care providers or doctors. In the study, doctors of different specialty particularly those primary physicians were surveyed through a series of questions in which one of the question generally says; “when will you recommend your patient for another pap test at the age of 30?” majority of the answers were as soon as possible. This proves that indeed doctors disregard the guidelines. There are less than 20% of primary health care physician and ob-gyn who followed the frequency guidelines for Pap test.
While doctors may not have the intention of neglecting the frequency guidelines, this should be avoided. When Pap test is done more often it can lead to damage in the opening of the cervix which can cause infection, may result to false positive test for infection or cancer and can affect future pregnancy. This is to inform all women out there who may be a victim of this negligence. You should make sure that the test recommended to you is really necessary to your health condition. If you are in doubt, you are always free to ask second, third or more opinions from other experts to make sure. At the same time, the all health care provider should undergo a seminar to update them on the latest health concerns and changes to different health procedures nowadays in particular to the Affordable Health care Act. As the government provides better preventive health services for women through the Act, keep in mind that too much of everything can be bad for you. Be aware of what is recommended and what could be too much especially if it is your health that is at stake. You wouldn’t want to end up getting worse after going through a test because the test done was too much for you.