What is the meaning of screening?

Screening is done for detection of a disease in its early stage for effective cure.

What are different methods for cervical cancer screening?

Pap smear, liquid based cytology and human papilloma virus.

What is Pap smear?

Pap smear detects changes in cells that take place before cancer formation in cervical cells that if not treated may turn into overt cancer.

What is liquid based cytology?

It is similar to Pap smear with the exception that slides are not prepared in opd; cells are directly transferred to laboratory in liquid media.

What is HPV?

HPV is a DNA virus causing cervical cancer changes.

What are the precautions to be taken care of before Pap test?

  1. You should be free from your menstrual cycle before Pap.
  2. Don’t use any douching, tampon, foam, medicine, cream or jelly before Pap.
  3. No sex before Pap.

When will I get my Pap test report?

From as early as same day to as long as 3 weeks.

How difficult is this test?

It is very simple and Opd procedure of just few seconds.

Is it painful?

Not at all.

Do I need any kind of anaesthesia before Pap?

Not at all.

Do I need any rest after this?


May I bleed after Pap?

Yes, sometime you may do, but it is just spotting not heavy bleeding. You don’t need pad usually after pap.

When should I get myself screened for cancer cervix with Pap?

As early as at the age of 21 yrs if you are sexually active.

How frequently should I get Pap smear?

Every 3 years if your pap test is normal.

Can I combine Pap smear with HPV?

Yes, you can do both the tests in same sitting.

Till what age should I get Pap test?

Till the age of 65 yrs of age.

When should I stop Pap test?

After the age of 65 yrs, if you have got your uterus removed for benign conditions like fibroid and your 3 smears are negative for any abnormal cell for 3 consecutive years.

Is Pap test going to affect my pregnancy?


 Can men be screened for HPV?

Unfortunately no. Men cannot be screened for HPV.

When should I get myself screened for HPV?

At the age of 30 yrs.

What if my Pap smear is normal and HPV negative?

Then you can wait for 5 yrs for next screening.

What if my Pap smear is normal and HPV positive?

It indicates you are having cancer causing virus, but your cervix is free from cancer at present. You need to get yourself screened again after one year for Pap and HPV.

What if my Pap is abnormal and H  PV negative?

It means your cell changes are unlikely caused by HPV. Your doctor will have a closer look at your cervix and may do a colposcopy guided biopsy.

Does positive HPV means I am having cancer?

No, it does not mean you are having cancer. But it can be a warning sign.

What if I have positive HPV and abnormal Pap?

That doesn’t mean you are having cancer, but it says get yourself treated and have regular follow-up.

Is there any side-effect of these screening tests?

Yes, these tests may be false positive or false negative.

False positive?

Yes, abnormal cells or positive HPV in the absence of actual cancer. It may result in unnecessary treatment or apprehension in patients.

And false negative?

Normal cells or absent HPV in presence of cancer cells. It may result in delay of treatment.

How effective is Pap smear screening?

It is quite effective to detect cervical cancer and prevent cervical cancer related deaths and morbidity.

Key words: Pap, HPV, Screening, Cancer, Cells.

For more queries visit us at http://www.drarchanabharti.com











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