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Five Reasons to Schedule Your Next Pap Smear

Five Reasons to Schedule Your Next Pap Smear

Women have been scheduling routine Pap smears since the 1940s. The test is named after medical researcher Dr. George Papanicolaou who published a medical text in 1943 that detailed the benefits of studying cervical cells for precancerous changes.   

MyDoc Urgent Care offers quality health care services with the convenience of walk-in visits and same-day doctor appointments to residents in and around Forest Hills, East Meadow, the Bronx, and Brooklyn, New York. Our services include women’s health exams and routine preventive screening studies, including Pap smears.

Here’s why our team of family medicine specialists recommends you schedule a Pap smear today.

1. Pap smears prevent cancer deaths

The American Cancer Society notes that cervical cancer was once the most common cause of cancer deaths for women in the United States. Researchers expect 4,280 cervical cancer deaths in 2022. That’s still too many but well under the 43,000 expected deaths from breast cancer in 2022. A Pap smear is arguably the most successful cancer screening tool available.  

2. Pap smears detect precancerous cells 

Abnormal cells detected on a Pap smear may be in the transition phase between healthy and cancerous. Discovering and removing these cells at this point is relatively easy and prevents the devastating effects of cervical cancer.

Procedures to remove abnormal cervical cells include freezing the targeted tissue with cryosurgery. Another choice is electrosurgery, which uses controlled heat to destroy the problematic tissue. You may experience some cramping with either, but both are generally well-tolerated.

3. Pap smears can detect cervical cancer at its earliest stage

Cervical cancer treatment is often most successful when the cancer is detected and treated in its earliest stages.

Your provider can sometimes remove small, early-stage cervical cancer with a cone biopsy. During this procedure, your surgeon removes a cone-shaped portion of cervical tissue, including underlying tissue layers, but the cervix otherwise remains intact.

Larger or more invasive cervical cancers usually require a hysterectomy, radiation, chemotherapy, or a combination of treatments.

4. You can combine HPV testing with your Pap smear

Labs can check cervical cells obtained via a Pap test for human papillomavirus (HPV), the most common cause of cervical cancer.

5. Pap smears are quick

Although it’s generally part of a longer wellness exam, the Pap smear portion of your visit usually takes less than 10 minutes.

Call, walk in, or use our online service to schedule a visit at MyDoc Urgent Care for more information about our women’s wellness exams and Pap smears.    

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