A Pap test, or Pap smear, is usually part of an annual pelvic exam and is first done at about age 21, earlier if you have special risks such as HIV or other immune issues. A Pap test is the best way to inspect your cervix for abnormal cells that could become cancer. At the time of your Pap test, Dr. Lipton also checks for sexually transmitted infections, such as gonorrhea and chlamydia. To perform a Pap test, Dr. Lipton uses a thin plastic wand and a small brush to carefully remove a small sample of cells from your cervix. The sample cells are then sent to a laboratory for analysis.
In most cases, no. An abnormal test result naturally evokes anxiety. But it’s usually not confirmation that you have cancer. In fact, the most common reason for an abnormal test result is the aftermath of a chronic cervical infection. HPV (Human Papillomavirus) is another common cause. If the results of your Pap test come back indicating abnormal cells, Dr. Lipton may first recommend you have another Pap test. If the follow-up Pap results are abnormal as well, he will conduct further screenings or procedures to determine the cause.
Possible tests to determine the reason for an abnormal Pap include:
With this procedure, Dr. Lipton uses a lighted magnifying instrument, called a colposcope, to provide an enhanced view of your cervix, vagina, and vulva.
The test Dr. Lipton uses to detect HPV, a set of viruses that can cause cervical cancer, is more accurate than the conventional exam performed by most gynecologists.
This is a genetic exam that evaluates the malignancy potential for patients who have the HPV virus.
This involves the removal of more abnormal cervical cells, with a scalpel or electric scalpel, for further diagnosis.
Once the cause of your abnormal result is determined, Dr. Lipton will work with you to develop a treatment plan, which can include monitoring of pre-cancerous and abnormal cervical cells until they return to normal, counseling, or surgical procedures.
Kyle Lipton, MD, FACOG, FACS accepts most major insurance plans. Please contact our office directly with any questions.
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