Taking care of your health should always be a top priority — and one of the best ways to do that is by being proactive about preventive screenings. Pap smears are high on that list.
A Pap smear is a simple test designed to detect early signs of cervical cancer, and it’s an essential part of any woman’s health care plan.
At Solace Women's Care, Farly Sejour, MD, Natalie Gould, WHNP-BC, and our team specialize in gynecology physicals and women’s wellness exams, and we’re here to answer all of your questions.
Here are four of the most compelling reasons why it’s so important to schedule regular Pap smears.
1. Pap smears can detect early signs of cervical cancer
Cervical cancer is the fourth-most common cancer in women worldwide. As prevalent as it is, it’s highly treatable when found early — and Pap smears are one of the best ways to detect it. The test can identify abnormal cells in your cervix, indicating the need for further evaluation to confirm the cause.
Abnormal Pap smears don’t always mean cancer, but it’s important to get a diagnosis. By identifying precancerous or cancerous cells before they reach advanced stages, a Pap smear can save your life.
2. Pap smears can detect human papillomavirus (HPV)
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections, and it can lead to cervical cancer if left untreated. Not all HPV infections necessarily progress to cancer, but certain high-risk strains can increase your risk significantly.
With Pap smears, we can examine the cells in your cervix to look for HPV. Identifying the virus early on gives you the opportunity to get appropriate follow-up care, whether that’s further testing or monitoring.
It also helps us develop the best treatment plan to manage the infection and reduce your risk of cervical cancer.
3. Regular Pap smears monitor changes to your health
Routine screenings are a great way for us to monitor any changes in the cells of your cervix over time. We compare the results of multiple Pap smears to identify any abnormal patterns or progression of cell changes that may require closer attention or additional testing.
Ongoing monitoring allows both us and you to take a proactive approach to your health care, including preventive measures to reduce your risk of cervical cancer. While the recommended frequency of Pap smears can vary, we urge most women to get a screening about once every three years.
4. Pap smears offer peace of mind
Last but not least, Pap smears provide invaluable peace of mind. While the thought of undergoing a Pap smear may cause some anxiety, the procedure is quick and usually painless. Plus, knowing that you've taken a proactive step for your health often far outweighs any temporary discomfort.
By scheduling regular Pap smears, you’re actively participating in the early detection and prevention of cervical cancer, giving yourself the best chance for a healthy and cancer-free future.
Is it time for your next Pap smear? Call our Conroe, Texas, office at 936-441-7100 to schedule your appointment or contact us online for more information.