Health Wise Women
OB/GYN & Medical Aesthetics located in Hoboken, NJ
Regular screenings through a Pap smear is the best way to detect cervical cancer early. Mohamed Esiely, MD is an experienced OB/GYN at Health Wise Women in Hoboken, New Jersey who offers routine preventive Pap smears and pelvic examinations to protect your reproductive health. Call Health Wise Women or schedule a well-woman exam online to learn more about screening for cervical cancer.
Cervical Cancer Screening Q & A
What is cervical cancer screening?
Cervical cancer develops in the cervix, which is the opening of the uterus that connects it to the vagina, or birth canal. Cervical cancer was once among the leading causes of cancer-related deaths in the United States, but Pap smear cervical cancer screenings have increased early detection and reduced cervical cancer rates and mortality by 80%.
Dr. Esiely performs a Pap smear, or Pap test, during your pelvic exam. To gather cervical cells, a speculum holds your vagina open while Dr. Esiely gently scrapes your cervix. Pap smears may be slightly uncomfortable, but they aren’t painful.
Who needs cervical cancer screening?
Early detection is vital to preventing and treating cervical cancer. Your regular Pap test not only detects abnormal cells that may be cancerous but identifies problematic cells (dysplasia) that could turn into cancer in the future.
Women who develop cervical cancer are typically between ages 20-50. Dr. Esiely recommends regular cervical cancer screenings beginning at age 21, or when you become sexually active.
Depending on your risk of cervical cancer, Dr. Esiely may recommend more frequent screening. Factors that put you at a greater risk of cervical cancer might include:
- A history of cervical cancer or dysplasia
- Exposure to diethylstilbestrol (DES) while in the womb
- A weakened immune system from chemotherapy or HIV
Based on your health, you may not need cervical testing. This includes women who no longer have a cervix due to total hysterectomies. Dr. Esiely might also discontinue Pap testing if you’re over age 65 and have a normal cervical cancer screening history.
Dr. Esiely works with you during your well-woman exam to determine if cervical cancer screening is appropriate for you.
What is an abnormal Pap test?
Abnormal Pap smears don’t mean you have cervical cancer, but rather they indicate changes to the cells on your cervix.
Several factors can increase your risk of having an abnormal Pap smear, including smoking, having an impaired immune system, or engaging in high-risk sexual behavior like having multiple partners and not using condoms. Additional abnormal cervical cancer screening results can occur due to:
- Cervical changes related to menopause
- Viral infections such as human papillomavirus (HPV)
- Fungi (yeast), protozoa (Trichomonas), or bacterial infections
Dr. Esiely works closely with you to determine the appropriate next steps if your cervical cancer screening is abnormal.
To learn more about cervical cancer screening, call Health Wise Women or schedule a well-woman exam online today.
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