Cervical cancer was once one of the most common causes of cancer death for women in the United States, but due to the increased use of cervical cancer screening via the Pap test, the cervical cancer death rate has dropped by over 50 per cent. Pap tests are conducted during routine gynecological exams and can detect cervical cancer at its earliest stages.
During a Pap test, also called a Pap smear, your doctor or nurse practitioner will use a speculum to stretch the walls of the vagina. He or she will then insert a long cotton swab to capture a sample of cervical cells. The procedure causes minimal discomfort, although some women will experience minor spotting afterwards. Most Pap tests come back negative, but if yours shows cause for concern, our office will contact you for further evaluation.