Cancer. The very word conjures up visions of pain and suffering. If any disease has made itself an enemy of man, it is this one. Cancer may come in many forms but its outcome has always been damaging. The medical fraternity counts cancer as its greatest foe.

Dr. Meenu Gupta

Need for a PAP Smear Test

Cervical Cancer
Cervical Cancer is the commonest cancer in India. Cervix is the lower most part of the uterus. Women at high risk are one with multiple sexual partners, poor genital hygiene, HPV infection and elderly women. It is a slow growing cancer and if picked up early is completely curable. Unprotected sex should be avoided to not only prevent sexually transmitted diseases, but also HPV infections as these predispose a person to cervical cancer.
 
Screening
Early malignant changes in Cervix may not give rise to symptoms. A regular PAP Smear is recommended to pick up premalignant changes in the cervix. After 2 consecutive normal PAP Smears, it can be done every 3 yrs from onset of sexual activity or 21 yr age. After age of 30 or with an abnormal PAP Smear, women should have PAP Smears annually.
 
What is PAP Smear?
This is a screening procedure in which cells of the Cervix are scrapped off and seen under a microscope. If any abnormal appearing cells are seen, one can look for malignancy with a biopsy, actually diagnosed it at a very early stage and treat it to cure it.
Most deaths by Cervical cancer can be avoided if women have regular check ups with PAP test.
A Pap Smear test is a procedure in which cells are scraped from the cervix and examined under a microscope. It is used to detect cancer or changes that may lead to cancer. A Pap test can also show non-cancerous conditions, such as infection or inflammation.
Cervical cancer can be prevented if precancerous cervical lesions are found by a Pap test and treated. Only a small percentage of women in India are aware of this test. Regular Pap tests reduce a woman's risk for developing cervical cancer because they can detect precancerous cervical lesions at early, treatable stages.