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Pap Smear

WHAT IS PAP SMEAR?

Pap smear is a revolutionary investigation to screen women for cancer of the cervix and/or dysplasia. From 1943 when it was introduced by Papanicolaou, it has brought down the mortality from cervical cancer to a great degree.

WHY IS IT DONE?

  • The purpose of the Pap test is to detect changes that may lead to cervical cancer much before cancer develops. Pre-cancer of the cervix is easily treated, and almost always prevents cancer from developing. Pap smear is the best and most reliable method for cytological diagnosis of cervical cancer.

  • Changes may be seen as early as 10 years before actual cancer is to manifest

  • Early changes can be treated with success.

  • It is the most important tool in cancer check up in women JE HealthCheck

HOW IS IT DONE?

Pap Smear Technique

The commonest method is to collect cells directly from the cervix. A wooden spatula, typically shaped, is applied with light pressure to the cervix and rotated 360. The material obtained is smeared on a glass slide and fixed immediately. A trained cytologist later examines the smears. It is done as a office procedure and there is no need for any preparation.

WHAT ALL A PAP SMEAR CAN SHOW?

Pap smear can diagnose right from Carcinoma-in situ (stage before a clinically apparent lesion appears) to fully invasive cancer. The findings can be divided in 5 categories

Findings in individual Groups

Significance

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Group 1 – No evidence of abnormal cells Normal Click here
Group 2 – Atypical cells; No evidence of Malignancy Probably from Infections or erosions

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Group 3 – Cells suspicious of Malignancy Suspicious; merits repeat smear and if positive again – investigations like Colposcopy or Cone biopsy

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Group 4 – Few definitive malignant cells seen Positive. Further investigations a must. Colposcopy, Diagnostic Curettage or Cone biopsy Click here
Group 5 – Large no of malignant cells seen Click here

SHOULD ALL WOMEN DO IT?

YES!

All sexually active girls/ women or all women over 30 should do it yearly, for first 3 years and if all normal can skip a year thereafter.

WHAT IS THE RELIABILITY OF PAP SMEAR?

The reliability depends upon the efficient preparation and preservation of the slide and skill of the cytologist. The accuracy of the smear in cancer is almost 100%

IF MY PAP SMEAR IS POSITIVE???

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CALCULATORS


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