Get the Facts About Cervical Cancer Screenings
Bras for the Cause Provides Cervical Cancer Screenings
Part of our mission it to provide uninsured and underinsured women with cervical cancer screenings. Doctors use two tests for early detection and prevention of cervical cancer: the Pap test (also called Pap smear) and the HPV test.
The Pap test is used to find cervical cell changes they could become cervical cancer if not treated appropriately. These cell changes are called precancers. During a pap test, your doctor will examine your vagina and cervix. He or she will also collect cells and mucus from your cervix that will be tested in a laboratory for cell changes.
The HPV test is used to identify the presence of human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV can cause cervical cell changes, or precancers. An HPV test is performed at the same time as a Pap test, or may be performed in place of a Pap test.
How Often Should I Get Screened for Cervical Cancer?
How often you should be screened for cervical cancer depends on your age and the results of previous screenings.
21 to 29 Years
Women should begin having Pap tests when they are 21 years old. If you have normal Pap test results during your 20s, your doctor may wait three years between Pap tests.
30 to 65 Years
Once you are 30 years old, you and your doctor have different testing options to discuss. You may get only a Pap test. Like in your 20s, your doctor many wait three years in between Pap tests if you have normal results.
You and your doctor may choose to screen with only an HPV test. With a normal HPV result, your doctor may wait five years until your next screening.
Your third option is co-testing. This is when your doctor performs both a Pap test and an HPV test. With normal results, your doctor may wait five years for your next screening.
Older than 65
If you’ve had normal screening results for several years, your doctor may decide you don’t need any further screening. This will also be the case if you’ve had your cervix removed as part of a total hysterectomy for a non-cancerous condition.