Regular Pap tests detect cervical cancer and other women’s gynecological issues before serious complications arise. At The Women's Center at Life Point Medical, in Clayton, Georgia, Rabun County, Georgia, and Northeast Georgia, Monique Petteys, FNP-C, performs Pap smears to screen for cancer and rule out other medical conditions. Call the office to request an appointment to schedule a Pap smear.
A Pap smear, also called a Pap test, is a gynecological test to check your cervix (located at the bottom of the uterus) for abnormal cells. Detecting these cells in early stages can prevent cervical cancer, which is why regular Pap screenings are so important.
The cause of cervical cancer isn’t entirely clear, but contracting a sexually transmitted disease called human papillomavirus (HPV) may contribute to most cases of cervical cancer.
You might not experience symptoms with cervical cancer, especially during the beginning stages of the disease. However, in more advanced stages, you might notice some of the following symptoms:
Regular Pap smears detect cervical cancer before it reaches advanced stages associated with these symptoms.
During an annual women’s wellness exam, Monique:
During a Pap smear, Monique places a speculum into your vagina to collect cells from the outside of your cervix. These cells are sent to a lab for testing. The entire procedure takes just minutes to complete, and causes little to no discomfort in most women.
If the lab detects abnormal cervical cells, you’ll undergo a separate procedure to remove the precancerous cells.
Monique lets you know how often to schedule a Pap smear based on your age, risk factors, and health. She may recommend having the test every 3-5 years after age 20 to screen for cervical cancer. You might be able to stop Pap tests after age 65, depending on your health history, but it’s still important to schedule women’s wellness exams annually.
When you’re due for a women's wellness checkup, call The Women's Center at Life Point Medical today or schedule an appointment online.