Southside Medical Center proudly offers Pap smears in Atlanta. This is an important test for all sexually active women. Read on to learn more about why it is so important.
What is a Pap Smear?
Also known as a Pap test, it is a quick procedure that screens for cervical dysplasia. Cervical dysplasia are abnormalities in the cervix that could turn into cancer.
Why is it Important?
Regular Pap smears are important because, simply put, they save many lives. Every year, approximately 12,900 women in the US are diagnosed with cervical cancer. Of those, approximately 4,100 die from the disease. This simple test can catch cervical abnormalities before they become cancerous. This is why Southside Medical Center offers them in Atlanta.
How Do They Detect Cervical Cancer?
Pap smears do not screen for cervical cancer itself, but rather for what is known in the medical field as cervical dysplasia. A Pap test can catch these abnormalities early on, allowing for potentially life-saving preventative treatment.
How Often Should I Have One?
According to the American Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ (AGOG) current guidelines, women should have this test every two years beginning at age 21, or within three years of their first time having sexual intercourse, whichever comes first. After age 30, the AGOG recommendation allows for women to reduce the frequency to once every three years, provided they have had three consecutive normal test results and their immune system has not otherwise been compromised by a virus or any recent health conditions.
What Happens During the Pap Smear?
Thanks to Southside Medical Center, it is quick and easy to get these tests in the Atlanta area. Pap tests are normally done after a pelvic examination. During the test, the doctor will lightly swab your cervix with a soft brush to collect cells. The procedure typically takes just minutes. Afterward, the sample will be sent to a lab to be analyzed under a microscope.