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Patient Preparation: No special preparation is required. A duly filled Cytopathology requisition form is mandatory.
Doctors usually recommend this test to be taken by women who are above the age of 21 every 3 years. Also if you are someone who is sexually active, or if you are a chronic smoker, or if you have been diagnosed with cervical cancer or the pre-cancerous cells
Your doctor may recommend the test for you if you are a woman above the age of 21 and are facing severe symptoms like bleeding between periods, bleeding after sexual intercourse, discomfort during sex, vaginal discharge with strong odour and blood and pain in the pelvic area. These symptoms can also be caused because of vaginal infection.
A Pap test is a screening test used as a preventive measure for detection of cervical cancer. It is used to find out the presence of abnormal cells -cancerous or precancerous cells (cells that might turn into cancer), which helps in initial detection of cervical cancer. It can also show information about presence of any vaginal or cervical infections.
Normal: A regular Pap smear test implies that all cells are seen as normal without the presence of abnormal cells. This means that it's very unlikely that cervical cancer is present. However, often the diagnosis are missed and it's recommended to perform pap at periodic intervals in accordance to the rules and as advised by your doctor.
Inconclusive (also called ASC-US): ASC-US stands for atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance. An ASC-US result indicate the absence of normal cells, however, the presence of abnormal cells isn't seen either. These results may also be cited as inconclusive. Around 75% women with an ASC-US result haven't had any abnormal cells on their cervix.
Abnormal: Abnormal results tell you that the cervical cells are not normal in nature, and may indicate the changes to the normal cells because of infection, or cancer caused by a virus (human papilloma virus) that's known to cause cervical cancer. The changes can be mild, moderate or severe. Majority of females with abnormal cells don't have cancer, but more severe abnormal cells can grow cancerous over a period of time. Abnormal results are cited as dysplasia (dis-PLAY-Zhan), cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) or squamous intraepithelial lesions (SIL).