Your routine Pap smear is a screening test for cervical cancer. Though an abnormal Pap smear may trigger all your alarm bells, it doesn’t mean you have cervical cancer. The team at Women's Health Specialists, PLLC, in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, provides additional testing following an abnormal Pap smear to determine what’s going on. For expert care, call Women's Health Specialists, PLLC, or schedule an appointment online today.
A Pap smear is a routine screening test for women that checks for cervical cancer. During the test, your provider at Women's Health Specialists, PLLC, collects a sample of cells from your cervix and sends it to the lab for an evaluation.
Routine Pap smears help find changes in cervical cells early, which may prevent your risk of developing cervical cancer or improve your outcome if you have cervical cancer.
Most Pap smear results are normal.
Most women start having Pap smears by age 21 and usually repeat them every three years. However, the team at Women's Health Specialists, PLLC, may recommend more frequent testing if you have a history of abnormal Pap smears or a family history of cervical cancer.
An abnormal Pap smear means the lab found changes in your cervical cells. Though you may feel concerned, an abnormal Pap smear doesn’t mean you have cervical cancer.
The findings by the lab indicate changes in the normal cells.
An abnormal Pap smear means you have abnormal cervical cells. The results may range from mild to severe.
Types of abnormal cervical cells include:
ASCUS means you have slight changes in your cervical cells, but these changes may not indicate cancer.
Squamous intraepithelial lesion means the cells collected during your Pap smear may be precancerous.
The glandular cells in your cervix produce mucus. Atypical glandular cells mean these cells are slightly abnormal but not cancerous.
Squamous cell cancer or adenocarcinoma cells means your Pap smear results found cancerous cells.
No matter what type of cells the lab found, the Women's Health Specialists, PLLC, team performs additional testing following an abnormal Pap smear.
Testing usually includes a colposcopy, a diagnostic procedure that allows your provider at Women's Health Specialists, PLLC, to closely examine the lining of your cervix and obtain additional tissue samples.
The Women's Health Specialists, PLLC, team determines the best treatment for your abnormal Pap smear following the results of your colposcopy.
To discuss your abnormal Pap smear and treatment options, call Women's Health Specialists, PLLC, or schedule an appointment online today.