As cervical cancer is growing, women of all ages are getting much more health conscious every day.
Medical science is also growing seeing the demand of people to know more about their disease. That’s why you get to see health screening and how healthcare providers are awaring people to get their screening done at the right time.
Screening has helped many women to know about their disease way before it has taken on a full grown position.
Pap smear test or cervical screening test is done to check for any abnormal cell growth in your cervix which actually gives enough explanation on why you are having them.
But things to be kept in mind that a pap smear test result could be very inaccurate and hence your doctor may tell you to go through some more tests if they found it abnormal. To be screened for cervical cancer, a doctor takes a small sample of tissue from your cervix.
They also test the sample for certain bacteria and viruses called human papillomaviruses (HPV).
Cervix is your canal that connects your uterus to the outside of your body. A sample of cells that develop during the lab work is sent to a lab to test for specific characteristics to see which conditions affect the structure.
While also unable to be removed, the cervical fluid and cells are harmless, but may raise the risk for conditions like endometriosis and cervical cancer.
But doctors say that some studies have cited that it is possible to see if cervical fluid is abnormal and stop it from spreading.
Many gynecologists opines that some women who start cervical screening in their 30s with normal results can now safely stop if their cervical fluid is abnormal.
Where Do Cervical Cancer And HPV Come From?
HPV is a member of the family of viruses that cause the common cold and genital warts. It is the most common sexually transmitted disease (STI). HPV is found in an estimated 1 in 5 females and 1 in 13 males.
HPV typically develops during adolescence, although up to 60% of those infected never show signs of having the infection.
Researchers have found that 30% of HPV infections occur before they are sexually active, and 22% occur when they are fully grown.
In addition, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has found that 11% of women and 1% of men experience an HPV infection in the genital area before they become sexually active, although rates vary considerably by state and ethnicity.
Now that women are getting self conscious, cervical screening has become easier with their consent. Many local health departments have their own oncology groups that provide cervical cancer screening and treatment services.
Cervical cancer is highly treatable and can be treated successfully at many centers across the country.
However, because many women with cervical cancer do not undergo a Pap smear test before receiving treatment, their incidence rates of infection or precancerous changes are higher than in women who have been tested and treated, and have not been diagnosed with cancer at this time, possibly because they develop symptoms while undergoing treatment.
Treatment of cervical cancer can reduce the incidence and/or recurrence of subsequent precancerous changes, including possible microscopic changes.
Women who do not receive treatment for cancer have a higher risk of serious complications after they undergo screening for cervical cancer. Because there is no treatment for cervical cancer and in most cases it does not recur, HPV can cause a high rate of cervical cancer.
Common HPV tests, such as private cervical smear tests, HPV16 and HPV18, are being used to screen women and men, but a large proportion of those tested have no signs of the HPV infection, indicating that their cervical cancer is very rare.
When Will You Need A Pap Smear Test?
If you are in your 20s, you must get screened regularly every three years. However, many women have increased chances of getting cervical cancer than other women. The conditions applied are:
- If you are HIV positive
- If you have a weak immune system while undergoing chemotherapy or during an organ transplant
Women over 30 need to consult with their doctor if their pap smear test comes out to be abnormal. Many women with normal or low-grade screening tests will need a Pap test every few years.
Pap smear tests can be done anytime. All women should have a Pap test every two years or when the risk of cervical cancer increases. Getting screened can prevent many of the cancers that can be caused by HPV.
But screening doesn’t guarantee that your cervical cancer will be caught and that you won’t develop other cervical cancer risks or have a serious health complication.
If you are being screened or have been screened, it is important to talk with your doctor or nurse practitioner about your results and any concerns.
While the rates of most cancers have dropped over the last 20 years, the rate of cervical cancer has continued to increase. For that reason, Planned Parenthood provides Pap smear tests to everyone between the ages of 13 and 64.
Everyone who is sexually active should be taking a yearly physical. However, if you have recurrent infections or other serious health conditions you should make an appointment to visit your doctor or an OBGYN.
Many common infections or conditions are preventable or treated with common medications. For those suffering from HPV might have the increased risk for cervical cancer.
HPV type 16 and 18 are the main cause for cervical cancer. The last two HPV types are not the cause of cervical cancer, but may be linked to the development of cervical cancer.
The most common types of HPV are HPV 16 and HPV 18. The virus is transmitted by skin-to-skin contact or by sexual intercourse. It is also possible to get the virus by having vaginal, anal, or oral sex.
HPV can infect both men and women, and most cases of cervical cancer result from the infection of the cervix by the HPV 16 or 18 viruses.
Preparing For the Pap Test
While getting a pap test is very simple and easy. First you need to schedule a with private gynaecologist. If somehow your periods fall in those days, your doctor will reschedule the date and you will have to visit the clinic again.
Here’s 2 most common questions related to pap smear tests:
Q. What is another way to avoid having your private cervical pap smear tests missed or delayed?
A: This includes eating healthier (like avoiding fatty foods or anything that will make you secrete hormones), using an IUD or contraceptive implant, breastfeeding, and using condoms to reduce the risk of spreading HPV through sex.
Q: How should I know if I am suitable for the HPV test?
A: Your doctor will find out if you’ll be suitable to be tested for HPV with an HPV DNA test. If you are on the fence, you will much likely have the test for HPV as well.
Studies that illustrate the cervical cancer
Many people have gone from being infected with HPV to actually being cured. Those who are cured come from being exposed to HPV for more than 20 years. And yet, they still show no signs of infection on a Pap test! The history and study behind the cures is surprisingly complex.
The work was done by scientists at the University of Washington at Seattle, the University of Michigan, and the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. The goal of the research was to understand the relationship between lifetime risk of HPV infection and immunity to that disease.
The study didn’t aim to determine how many people are infected with HPV in the U.S., but to understand what this number means for cervical cancer.
HPV is most commonly transmitted through genital contact, and can cause genital warts or cancer if it makes its way to other parts of the body.
According to the CDC, nearly half of girls and young women aged 14 to 21 in the U.S. have genital warts. About one-quarter of women and one-third of men with these warts have HIV.
Currently, treatment for genital warts is curative and can result in infertility for those who are unable to have children, according to NIH. In most cases, treatment is very effective.
However, not everyone will benefit, and there is some concern that some infections may go undiagnosed. Conclusion, Pap Smear Test has helped women to know about their cancerous growth way before that gives them enough time to treat.
Get yourself screened as per your age to avoid the cancer eating up your happy life.