A pap smear is a screening test for cervical cancer (named after the physician who developed the test George Papanicolaou in 1928).
In the US in 2013, there are estimated to be 12,340 new cases of invasive cervical cancer, and 4,030 cancer-related deaths are expected; this represents approximately 1.5 percent of cancer deaths in women.
While these numbers may seem high, this is a preventable cancer in developed countries.
Most women associate their annual exam with the pap smear.
The pap test is just one aspect of that exam – the collection of cells from the surface of the cervix.
A specialist evaluates those cells and determines if they have been exposed to the Human Papillomavirus (HPV).
There are 30-40 different types of HPV, however, only 8 of those are responsible for causing over 95% of cervical cancers. Types 16 and 18 are responsible for 70% of cervical cancers, while types 6 and 11 cause annoying (but benign) genital warts.
This virus can cause changes that if left unrecognized or untreated, can lead to cervical cancer over time.
Do You Need To Schedule Your Annual Exam?
Please give us a call at 719-442-0808 to schedule an appointment at either our Colorado Springs or Monument office.