Why Regular Pap Smears Are so Important to Your Health

Published April 24, 2019 by

Pap smears, also known as Pap tests, help to identify suspicious cells in your cervix that could signal a precancerous condition.

Many women find this test to be uncomfortable or scary and try to avoid going to their gynecologist because of it, but the few minutes of discomfort are ultimately worth the health benefits. Let’s find out why regular Pap smears are so important to your health.

What Are Your Risks Factor for Cervical Cancer?

The main risk factor for developing cervical cancer is HPV or the Human Papillomavirus. This is a sexually transmitted infection that can cause cervical cancer, and you can contract it from any kind of sexual encounter.

Other risks include smoking, long term use of contraceptives, an active sexual life, and giving birth repeatedly.

Risks DO NOT include family history. Even if no one in your family has had cervical cancer before, you should still be screened.

Just because you have no symptoms does not mean you have no risk of cervical cancer. A screening test is done precisely to detect abnormal cells when there are no symptoms.

Don’t delay screening because you are afraid you may already have cervical cancer, and it’s too late to be treated. Regular screenings are often able to catch the suspicious cells early enough to treat and prevent the development of cervical cancer.

healthy woman on beach

Guidelines for Pap Smears in Columbus, OH

The CDC instructs us to begin getting a Pap smear at age 21 and repeat them every 3 years until age 30. Between ages 30 and 65 we can safely repeat the test every 5 years as long as there are no abnormal results. After age 65, further Pap tests are needed only if your physician directly orders more tests or you have concerning symptoms.

Cervical cancer is preventable by regular Pap smears plus screening for HPV and treating any abnormal cervical cells early.

Benefits of Regular Pap Smears

Unfortunately, cervical cancer rates have been on the rise in the last several years. A recent study confirmed that there has been a 47% increase in cervical cancer among white women age 55 to 59, and a 72% increase among black women in the same age group.

Regular Pap smears can reduce these numbers. When you follow the guidelines for regular Pap tests and HPV screenings, the benefits are both physical and emotional.

First, you are reassured in knowing that you are doing all you can to prevent cervical cancer. In addition to this, you are being screened before any dangerous symptoms show up, and you also know you are catching any abnormal cells that could later develop into cancer.

There is less of a chance for the cancer to spread if it is caught and treated early on, and most important of all, you have a better overall chance of survival.

Contact Comprehensive Women’s Care to get the best screening schedule for cervical cancer, and make sure to attend your yearly gynecological examinations! You can schedule your appointment online or give us a call at (614) 583-5552!

 

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COVID-19 Update

Due to the recent coronavirus outbreak, COVID-19, we are taking steps to protect our patients, employees and their loved ones. We can all play a role in slowing the speed at which the virus spreads.

As your healthcare provider, we are committed to your health and safety. Starting on March 16, we will be rescheduling all routine well visits/annuals appointments.

This DOES NOT include our pregnant patients or anyone who needs an urgent appointment.

This DOES include anyone with routine, follow up, and/or annual visits who do not have any abnormal issues. If you are elderly, immunocompromised, or have underlying medical conditions, please do not come into our office during this time.

Your health is important to us and we welcome you to call our office if you need any help deciding if you need to reschedule your appointment.

If you have a fever, cough, or shortness of breath, please do not come to the office for an appointment. Please instead call us to reschedule.

We have always been very welcoming of additional support people and children in our office, but at this time, we are asking that you do not bring any guests to your visits. If you need assistance and a support person is necessary, please call our office so arrangements can be made.

This is only temporary for the safety and well being of ALL our patients at CWC.

The situation is fluid, and we are continually reassessing it.

We will be offering telemedicine appointments beginning March 23rd.

We will be updating you regularly, and we welcome you to call our office to speak to our staff with any questions or concerns.

Comprehensive Women's Care