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What is a Pap test? The Pap test is also called a Pap smear, checks for modify in the cells of your cervix. The cervix is the lesser part of the womb that opens into the vagina (birth canal). The Pap test can say to if you have a disease, irregular cells, or cancer. Why do I need a Pap test? A Pap test can save your life. It can discover cancer of the cervix – a general cancer in women – before it move about to other parts of your body becomes invasive. If caught early, treatment for cancer of the cervix can be easier and the probability of curing it is far larger. Pap tests can also pick up infection and inflammation, and abnormal cells that can change into cancer cells. Do all women need Pap tests? It is essential for all women to have pap tests, along with pelvic exams, a part of their routine health care. You require having a Pap test if you are over 18 years old. If you are below 18 years old and are or have been sexually active, you also need a Pap test. There is no age limit for the Pap test. Even women who have gone through menopause the change of life, or when a woman’s periods stop, need to get Pap tests. How often do I need to get a Pap test? You will automatically be placed on the register when you have a Pap smear, unless you request otherwise You must have a Pap test each year no matter how old you are if: you have a weakened immune system because of organ transplant, chemotherapy, or steroid use; your mother was exposed to diethylstilbestrol (DES) while pregnant; you are HIV-positive. What increases a woman’s risk for cancer of the cervix? Any woman can get cancer of the cervix. But, the chances of getting cancer of the cervix increase when a woman:
  • Has or has had Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) or genital warts
  • Has or has had a sexually transmitted disease (STD)
  • Is over the age of 60
  • Smoking
  • Has many sexual partners
  • Has sexual partners who have other sexual partners