Roughly 6 smear tests out of every 100 show abnormal results, but these do not necessarily mean cancer. In fact, less than 1 in 1,000 tests indicate invasive cancer.
Abnormal cells usually return to normal on their own, which is why, in the event of an abnormal smear, you will usually be advised to wait and come back for another one at a later stage before further action is recommended.
If the cervical cells continue to show a progression of abnormality on further testing, they can be removed to prevent the development of cancer.
What to do next
Our services include smear testing, which you can have done here at our clinic, or we can also help you figure out how to proceed if you have already received an abnormal smear result.
Give us a call to make an appointment with a specialist.
The doctor will likely only recommend a biopsy if you have two or more abnormal PAP smears in a row, or if there any particular abnormalities are found during a routine check-up. This is to ensure that your cells are not pre-cancerous.
All women who have been sexually active at any point in their lives should have regular pap smears.
The process is quick and painless, although can cause some discomfort. You can always request to be seen by a female doctor or nurse. Your practitioner will gently insert a speculum into the vagina so that the cervix is visible. A swab of cells from the cervix is then taken using a cotton brush, wiped onto a glass slide, and sent for testing.