Well Woman Examination
Cervical Cancer and Breast Cancer Screening
- 25 min25 minutes
- Insurance or MembersInsurance or Members
- Campo Road
WHAT IS A WELL WOMAN EXAMINATION? A well woman examination is an opportunity for females to have age related cervical and breast cancer screenings. The United States Preventative Task Force (USPTF) recommends getting a pap smear every three years from ages 21 to 29 and every five years from 30 to 65 if also tested for the Human Papillomavirus (HPV). In addition, USPTF recommends that women aged 50 to 74 undergo breast cancer screening via mammogram every two years, but early screening is possible depending on individual risk factors. WHAT IS A PAP SMEAR? Pap smears are used to detect cervical cancer or abnormalities in cervical cells. A cervix is at the bottom of the uterus, which opens into the vagina. Cancers can be detected by these tests, as well as changes in cervical cells that increase the risk of future cancer. There is a good chance your health insurance plan will cover Pap tests and cervical cancer screenings at no cost to you. WHAT IS THE PAP SMEAR PROCEDURE LIKE? During a Pap smear, the patient lies down on an examination table and places their feet into stirrups. By gently inserting a speculum into the vagina, our Practitioner is able to visualize the cervix and open the vaginal walls. Then, cervical cell samples are swabbed and sent to the lab for analysis. Generally, the procedure is not painful; however, because the speculum opens the vaginal walls, there may be some pressure during the process. WHO SHOULD HAVE A PAP SMEAR AND HOW OFTEN? Innovative Wellness Clinic, Inc. recommends Pap smears start at age 21 and take place every 3-5 years, depending on age. It is recommended that you have more frequent Pap smears if you are HIV or HPV positive or have a weakened immune system due to cancer treatments or organ transplants. WHAT IS THE REASON PAP SMEARS ARE RECOMMENDED LESS OFTEN? Cervical Cancer is generally a slow growing cancer ; however, when abnormalities are detected, closer surveillance is recommended. CAN PAP SMEARS DETECT HPV? The Pap test and monitors the progression of HPV, a group of 150 diseases that can lead to cancer. HPV is able to lie dormant for quite a while before becoming active, so Pap smears are crucial to tracking HPV dormancy and preparing for HPV outbreaks. WHAT DO THE PAP SMEAR RESULTS MEAN? The vast majority of Pap smear results are normal, meaning no abnormal cervical cells. Pap smear results with abnormal cells are not necessarily a sign one has cancer. Make an appointment to learn more.
IWC Primary Care, An Innovative Wellness Clinic, Campo Road, Spring Valley, CA, USA