A Pap smear is a gynecologic procedure done to detect abnormal cells in the cervix. Most women anxiously await the results of their Pap smear to learn whether they are “in the clear” or if there are concerns. For women who receive a call with results of an abnormal Pap smear, anxieties and fear are prevalent. In no means do we wish to undermine these feelings, but Marietta OB-GYN Affiliates, P.A. wants to help you understand what an abnormal Pap smear means.
An abnormal Pap smear means that the cervical screening done found some cells on the cervix that do not look normal. It does not mean that you have cancer. In fact, most abnormal results do not end up with a cancer diagnosis. A Pap smear test can detect pre-cancerous cells – which means that the cells can be removed before they have a chance to develop into cervical cancer. This means that your routine Pap smear is important because it can be lifesaving!
Aside from cancerous and pre-cancerous cells being present, other reasons for an abnormal Pap smear include:
Most abnormal Pap smear results are caused by the Human Papillomavirus (HPV). There are more than 100 different viruses under the HPV virus umbrella, and they are found in a large number of sexually active adults. In fact, HPV is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections in the United States. As with most diseases, conditions, and infections, when concerns are caught early as through an abnormal Pap smear, early intervention and treatment is generally effective and produces positive outcomes.
An abnormal Pap smear can be very concerning, but it does not need to cause you panic. At Marietta OB-GYN Affiliates, P.A., our experienced gynecologists can perform further testing to confirm the abnormal result and then develop an individualized treatment plan just for you. We look forward to providing you with the highest quality in women’s health care.