What Is The Pap Smear?Wednesday, April 17, 2013 - 13:56
The Pap smear, also called a Pap test, is a painless, noninvasive procedure that doctors and other specially trained healthcare providers use to screen for cancer of the cervix (the lower part of the uterus, or womb, where a baby grows).
This procedure involves
- collecting cells from the cervix and the vagina
- preparing the cell sample for evaluation under a microscope
- examining the cell sample for infections, abnormal cells that may grow into a cancerous tumor, and cancer
The Pap smear is a screening technique. It is used to detect cervical cancer or cervical abnormalities that might become cancer in women who don't have any symptoms of these conditions.
The Pap smear cannot prove that a woman doesn't have cervical cancer, but it can detect 95 percent of all cervical cancers and precancerous abnormalities. It is not a diagnostic test used to identify the illness or condition responsible for symptoms.
Nice To Know:
Doctors, scientists, and engineers are working together to improve Pap smear accuracy. Laboratories that analyze Pap smears are rapidly adopting automated techniques, and many experts believe the new technologies will make important contributions to the screening process.
Facts About The Pap Smear
Nice To Know:
Free Pap Smear Day
National Pap Smear Day was observed on January 14, 2000. Sponsored by the National Cervical Cancer Coalition and endorsed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this unprecedented program provided free Pap smears to women who hadn't been screened for at least three years.