The cervix is the opening to the uterus (womb). The cells on the cervix can become cancerous. Changes detected early can be treated before cancer develops. A Pap test is a way to look for changing or cancerous cells on the cervix.

Cervix
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A Pap test is often done as part of a pelvic exam. It is done to check cervical cells for changes ( cervical dysplasia) that could develop intocancer. It can also detect cancer cells.

Talk to your doctor about when you should have Pap tests done. Professional health organizations have differing guidelines.

  • If you are age 21-29 years, you should have the Pap test every 2-3 years.
  • If you are age 30-65, you should have the Pap test along with the HPV test every 3-5 years.
  • If you are age 65 or older, you may be able to stop having Pap and HPV tests if you have had normal results (such as, three normal results in a row and no abnormal results in the past 10 years).
  • Note: You will need to have Pap tests done more often if you have abnormal results. You may also need more frequent testing if you have certain conditions, like a suppressed immune system or a history of cervical dysplasia or cervical cancer. Talk to your doctor about the right screening schedule for you.