Medbroadcast  Powered by MediResource
 Search

Go
 Browse alphabetically
ABCDEFGHIJKLMN
OPQRSTUVWXYZ
HEALTH TOPICS
Family & Child Health
Men's Health
Women's Health
Seniors' Health
Addiction
Allergy
Ankylosing Spondylitis
Arthritis (Rheumatoid)
Asthma
Atrial Fibrillation
Baby Health
Back Health
Bedwetting
Bladder (Overactive)
Brain Health
Cancer
Childhood Vaccinations
Cholesterol
Crohn's & Colitis
Cold and Flu
COPD NEW!
Cosmetic Procedures
Depression NEW!
Diabetes
Digestive Health
Ear Health
Eating Disorders
Eye Health
Flu (Seasonal)
Fertility
Fitness
Healthy Skin
Heart
High Blood Pressure
HPV
Hyperhidrosis
Incontinence
Infection
Kidney Health
Lung Health
Medications and your Health
Menopause
Mental Health
Multiple Sclerosis NEW!
Natural and Complementary Therapy
Nutrition
Obesity
Oral Care
Osteoarthritis of the Knee NEW!
Pain
Pregnancy
Psoriasis
Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA)
Seasonal Health
Sexual Health
Sleep Health
Stroke Risk Reduction
Smoking
Weight Management
Workplace Health
Yeast Infection
All health channels

STAY CONNECTED
RESOURCES
Ask an Expert
Clinical Trials
Find a Specialist
Health features
News
Tools


Condition Info Drug Info Tests and Procedures Natural Products Ask an Expert Support Groups Clinical Trials
Home Bookmark Page Send to a Friend Sante Chez Nous Subscribe
HPV > Health Features > Pap Test 101 > Pap Test 101
HPV
What women need to know about HPV
How parents can talk to their daughters about HPV
HPV is a common virus that causes almost all cases of cervical cancer and genital warts. You've probably seen ads and news stories recently about HPV, and maybe you're wondering, "Are they talking to me?" The short answer is "Yes!" If you, or someone you know, is having sex, or even just getting close to it, it's time you learned more about this virus, how it's spread and who's at risk.
HPV resources
Health features
Health tools
Expert answers
Support groups
Related conditions

Pap Test 101


Pap Test 101

Pop quiz – which of the following statements are true?

  1. You need to start getting a Pap test (also known as Pap smear) every 3 years starting at the age of 21 if you have ever had any sexual skin-to-skin contact.
  2. You need get a Pap test regularly, usually every 2 to 3 years after you have had 3 or more "normal" Pap tests in a row.
  3. Getting regular pap tests is the best thing you can do to avoid cervical cancer, which is mainly caused by the transfer of the human papillomavirus (HPV) during sexual intercourse or any sexual act that involves touching.

Okay, so that was easy: all three are correct. But you might be surprised to know that many Canadian women in their teens and early 20s are ignorant about the importance of the Pap test in detecting cervical cancer.

Lesson 1: A Pap test can save your life.
During the simple procedure, your doctor uses a plastic or metal instrument called a speculum to take a small sample of cells from your cervix while you are lying down (we're talking seconds – a few deep breathes will distract you from the slight discomfort). You shouldn't feel pain or extreme discomfort, so let your doctor know if you do. This sample is sent to a lab that looks for cell changes or abnormalities. Problems can be spotted before they turn into cancer, which can be caught early and more easily treated.

Lesson 2: Don't skip the Pap.
This isn't the same as skipping class – you can't make up for a missed diagnosis. Doctors want you to get tested every 3 years starting at the age of 21. Most cases of HPV infection (remember it's the main culprit of cervical cancer) clear up on their own in a few years. However, for a small number of women, certain types of HPV infection may stick around longer and can lead to cancer. Your best bet is to catch abnormal cells caused by HPV early on.

Lesson 3: Don't panic if you get an "abnormal" result.
An abnormal Pap result does not mean you have cancer. About 4 to 5 million Pap tests are done every year in Canada and only 8% get an abnormal result, and only a fraction of those (1,400) are cancer. Abnormal Pap results means there is a change in the cells of the cervix. Changes in the cells could be a result of a vaginal infection, a sexually transmitted infection (STI), HPV (which is a specific type of STI), or hormone level changes, among other causes. Remember: most cervical cancers take 10 years to develop. And many cervical abnormalities return to normal within 1 to 2 years. Discuss your results with your doctor, who will let you know if further tests, such as an HPV or STI test, are needed.



Pap Test 101


Pap Test 101


GoGO




Advertisement


Did you find what you were looking for on our website? Please let us know.





Hot Topics - Bedwetting, Depression, Flu (Seasonal), Healthy Skin, Incontinence, Multiple Sclerosis, Psoriasis, Stroke Risk Reduction

Condition and disease information is written and reviewed by the MedBroadcast Clinical Team.


The contents of this site are for informational purposes only and are meant to be discussed with your physician or other qualified health care professional before being acted on. Never disregard any advice given to you by your doctor or other qualified health care professional. Always seek the advice of a physician or other licensed health care professional regarding any questions you have about your medical condition(s) and treatment(s). This site is not a substitute for medical advice.
© 1996 - 2014 MediResource Inc. - MediResource reaches millions of Canadians each year.