Pap smears are essential to protect yourself against the devastating consequences of cervical cancer. Formé Medical Center and Urgent Care in White Plains, New York, offers routine Pap smears to women, including testing for HPV (human papillomavirus) infection, the primary cause of cervical cancer. To arrange your test, call Formé Medical Center and Urgent Care or book an appointment online today.
A Pap smear is a gynecological screening procedure that identifies signs of cervical cancer. To perform the smear test, your provider at Formé Medical Center and Urgent Care collects a sample of cells from your cervix.
A Pap smear usually tests for human papillomavirus (HPV) as well. HPV is a common sexually transmitted disease and is typically the root cause of cervical cancer.
If you’re aged 21-65, you should have a Pap smear every three years. Women who’ve had an abnormal test result often need to undergo smears more frequently.
The Pap smear procedure is quick and shouldn’t cause more than minor discomfort. You lie on your back with your knees raised and apart. Your provider at Formé Medical Center and Urgent Care inserts a device called a speculum into your vagina that opens up the walls and allows access to your cervix.
Your provider collects some cells using a swab, and then you can dress and carry on with your usual activities. The cell sample goes to a lab for testing. When the results are back, your provider contacts you to discuss any abnormal findings.
If you get an abnormal Pap smear result, try not to worry, as in most cases, the abnormality isn’t due to cancer.
The most likely cause is inflammation or ASCUS (atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance), which means the cells aren’t cancerous.
Your smear might indicate that the cell changes are possibly precancerous or cancerous. If this is the case, you need to undergo further tests.
If you get an abnormal Pap smear result, you’re likely to need a colposcopy. This is a simple in-office procedure, very much like having a smear, where your provider inserts a special magnifying device (colposcope) into your vagina. They carry out a closer examination of your cervix and take further tissue samples if needed.
Your provider at Formé Medical Center and Urgent Care can also remove or destroy the abnormal cells. LEEP (loop electrosurgical excision procedure) involves having a thin wire loop in your vagina that uses a mild electrical current to remove the cells. Cryotherapy uses a special probe to freeze abnormal cells. Both LEEP and cryotherapy are routine in-office procedures.
If necessary, your provider refers you to an oncologist for cancer treatment, but this only happens in a small number of cases. What’s most important is to have your routine Pap smear so any abnormalities come to light at the earliest stage.
To book your Pap smear, call Formé Medical Center and Urgent Care today or book an appointment online.