Abnormal Pap Smear

 

A Pap smear is an annual test for cervical cancer, identifying precancerous and cancerous cells on the cervix. The cells are taken from the uterine cervix, and a microscopic examination is performed. As a woman, you should have your first Pap smear within the first 3 years of being sexually active.

An abnormal Pap smear

Samples are taken to the laboratory for testing to identify any abnormal presence of cells. If the samples have no abnormalities, they are reported as negative or normal because there were no changes found. Dr. Zinn will explain your results to you and advise the options if your tests come back “abnormal”.

What if my test comes back abnormal?

Keep in mind that not all abnormal cells are cancerous. There will need to be a repeat test to confirm the first result. Depending on the nature of the abnormality, Dr Zinn will prescribe the necessary medication and or treatment. If the abnormal cells reoccur, the doctor will perform a biopsy to remove cells or tissue from the abnormal area for further examination. Should the cells continue to show abnormal and cancerous, preventative measures will be taken to combat potential cancer.  

Treatment options:

  • Laser therapy – Laser ablation surgery is a treatment that uses laser light to heat and destroy unwanted cells.
  • Cold coagulation – Similarly to the laser treatment, a hot probe is used to burn away the abnormal cells in the cervix. You may experience a period-type of pain during the treatment, and for a short duration after the procedure.
  • Freezing treatment – Also known as cryotherapy, a cold probe is used to freeze away abnormal cells. If you are wondering how that feels, you should not be able to sense the probe in your cervix during the procedure.

 

After your treatment, it is critical that you have a follow-up appointment in the next six months to pre-empt any further complications. If the abnormal cells have returned, you will need to be re-treated.

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