Routine Pap tests screen for cervical cancer and are an essential part of your preventive care plan. Board-certified OB/GYN Brian A. Levitt, MD, and his team of women’s health experts provide Pap tests at their locations in Snellville and Suwanee, Georgia. Call or book online to schedule your Pap test today.
A Pap test, sometimes called a Pap smear, checks for abnormal changes to the cells on your cervix. If left untreated, abnormal cervical cells can turn into cancer. Luckily, precancerous cells are easy to treat, especially when found early.
Cervical cancer is almost always preventable, which is why getting regular Pap tests is so important. With early detection, the chances of successful cervical cancer treatment are very high.
Most women ages 21-65 should get regular Pap tests as part of their annual exam. Even if you’re not sexually active or have already gone through menopause, you still need to get a Pap test.
Women who don’t have a cervix due to hysterectomy or are over age 65 and have had three normal Pap tests can talk to Dr. Levitt about stopping Pap tests.
How often you need Pap tests depends on your age and risk factors for cervical cancer. Women ages 21-29 need a Pap test every three years. Women ages 30-65 can get a Pap test combined with a human papillomavirus (HPV) test every five years, or Pap test alone every three years.
You may need more frequent Pap tests if you have a history of cervical cancer, abnormal Pap test results, or another medical condition. Dr. Levitt and his team can tell you exactly when your next Pap test should be.
It’s understandable to feel nervous about getting a Pap test, but taking deep breaths to relax can help minimize discomfort. Keep in mind the entire process is over in less than five minutes.
During a Pap test, you lie on the exam table with your feet elevated in footrests. Dr. Levitt or a member of his team insert a speculum inside your vagina and gently spread the walls apart to view your cervix.
Then, they swab the surface of your cervix to collect a cell sample and remove the speculum. They send the sample to a laboratory for analysis and receive the results within a couple of weeks. Negative results mean there are no changes to your cervical cells and you don’t need to do anything until your next scheduled Pap test.
Positive results don’t mean you have cancer, but Dr. Levitt may ask you to come back for additional tests, such as colposcopy.
A Pap test can save your life. To schedule an appointment, call or book online today.