A Pap smear is used to diagnose and detect cancer of the cervix, by checking for a change in the cells in the cervix. The cervix is the lower part of the uterus or the womb, the place where the baby grows during pregnancy. The cells may change from normal cells to abnormal cells if there are symptoms of cancer or any sort of infection. Thus it is essential to get regular Pap tests, to prevent cervical cancer.
24 to 36 Hours
A Pap smear is ordered to detect abnormal cells which could possibly appear prior to cancer or possible changes that could occur in the cervix in the case of cancer. It may also be ordered as a preventive test for sexually active or menopausal women. It helps detect any noncancerous conditions, such as infection and inflammation.
Cervical cancer usually does not have any specific symptoms that are necessarily visible at early stages. However, the screening of women for cervical cancer is essential today and helps monitor the health and well being of women. Symptoms tend to pop up only at a more advanced stage, some of which may be:
Preparatory instructions before the test *:
The following can cause a false result and hence must be avoided:
|No abnormal cells||Negative|
‘*A Reference range is a set of values which helps the healthcare professional to interpret a medical test. It may vary with age, gender, and other factors. Reference ranges may also vary between labs, in value & units depending on instruments used and method of establishment of reference ranges’
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