A pap smear is an essential test that is used to screen for suspicious cells in the cervix that could indicate that a woman is suffering from a precancerous condition. Many women find this test scary or uncomfortable, which leads them to avoid going to their gynecologist. It is important to realize why this test is so important and how it can protect your health.
The Risk Factors for Cervical Cancer
One of the leading causes of cervical cancer is Human Papillomavirus or HPV. In addition, long-term use of contraceptives, smoking, repeated childbirth, and having an active sexual lifestyle can also increase the risk of developing cervical cancer. A pap smear is the best way to detect any abnormal cells and implement a treatment plan before the condition worsens.
Benefits of a Regular Pap Smear
Regular pap smears can help to detect cervical cancer. Given the fact that the rate of women being diagnosed with cervical cancer has drastically increased over the last several years, it is important to continue routine screenings as these screenings can help to reduce the number of women with this form of cancer.
Early detection is key for treating any irregularities that may show up during a screening. When detected early, doctors have the ability to treat abnormal cells before they develop into cancer. It also decreases the chances that the cancer spreads.
How Often Should You Get a Pap Smear?
Women who are over the age of 21 should have pap smears performed every three years until they reach the age of 30. Between the ages of 30 and 65, it is important to receive a pap smear every five years so long as you do not receive any abnormal results. Once you reach the age of 65, a pap smear will only be needed if your doctor recommends it or if you are experiencing any symptoms.
Schedule Your Pap Smear in McKinney, TX, Today
If it is time for you to get a pap smear, contact Craig Ranch OB/GYN by calling 214-544-6600 to schedule an appointment. Their team is available at their office in McKinney, TX, to help.