Regular Pap smears help screen a woman for cervical cancer, a potentially deadly condition when it’s not caught early enough. At the practice of Dr. Jose F. De Leon, M.D., P.A., with offices in Dallas and Irving, Texas, Dr. De Leon and Dr. Phuong Nguyen-Luu provide annual Pap smears and follow-ups for any irregular results. To get your Pap smear screening, call one of the offices or book an appointment online.
A Pap smear is a standard screening test for cervical cancer. Dr. De Leon or Dr. Nguyen-Luu perform the test during a routine pelvic exam. It’s quick and generally painless, involving just a light swab or brush of your cervix to obtain a sampling of cells. The cells are then sent to a lab for analysis.
Generally, women between the ages of 21 and 65 should get a regular Pap screening every three years. You may need one more frequently if you had irregular results at one screening or have a family history of cervical cancer. Women with a history of normal Pap smears may be able to go five years between Pap tests.
There’s no need to worry about figuring out if you need a Pap smear because Dr. De Leon or Dr. Nguyen-Luu can best advise you on how often you’ll need testing. And even if you’re expecting, Pap smears can be safely performed during pregnancy.
A normal Pap smear means the lab found no irregular cells in your sample. An abnormal result does not mean you have cancer, but simply that you suspicious cells. These suspicious cells may have been caused by human papillomavirus (HPV), the most common sexually transmitted infection. Other possible causes of abnormal Pap test results include:
The doctors take abnormal results seriously and do a comprehensive analysis of your health to determine the possible cause.
Dr. De Leon and Dr. Nguyen-Luu review your results to determine how to proceed following an abnormal Pap smear. In many cases, they simply recommend a repeat Pap smear within a few months to see if the abnormal cells resolved on their own.
They may also recommend further analysis of your cells through a procedure called a colposcopy. During this exam, Dr. De Leon or Dr. Nguyen-Luu looks more closely at your cervix using a device called a colposcope, which has a lens and bright light to provide a better image of your cervix. If suspicious cells are evident during this exam, you may have a biopsy done to evaluate the tissue for cancer.
To receive a Pap test to screen for cervical cancer, call one of the offices or book an appointment online.