Pap, Pap, Do You Get That Thing Checked?

pap-test

 

In the words of Missy Elliott, “Is it worth it, let me work it.  I put my thing down, flip it and reverse it.” Pause.. well before you think about working, flipping and reversing it are you going to get IT checked. Yes you know what I am talking about but if you do not know I am talking about the vagina and why it is important do have a pap test. Before I get into why it is important, let me tell you what a pap test is.

As pap test is a simple test that collects a sample of cells from a woman’s cervix or vagina. The test is used to show cancer or conditions that may develop into cancer as well as small tumors tat may lead to  cervical cancer; changes in the cells of the cervix and vagina can imply this. It is recommended that screening should take place at age 21, routine screening every three years for women 21-65, and women 30-65 years who have a normal pap with a negative HPV test should be done every five years.

CDC_CervicalGraphic

The pap test is not painful but it can be a little uncomfortable and pressure maybe felt during the examination. It is done with a device called speculum which widens the opening of the vagina so that the vagina and cervix can be examined. Cells are collected with a plastic spatula and small brush and placed in a solution. This solution is sent to a lab to be tested.

This is very important because if cervical cancer is detected early it can be cured. According to American Cancer Society, it is estimated that about 12,360 new cases of invasive cervical cancer will be diagnosed and about 4,020 women will die from cervical cancer. It is extremely important to have one done if you are sexual active and have been sexually active.

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