Prevention is always better than cure! This is particularly true for women’s diseases like breast cancer, cervical cancer, and osteoporosis. The earlier such diseases are detected, the easier it is to treat them before they develop into serious illnesses. The screening tests below are considered crucial for women mainly because they can detect health problems long before you get any symptoms.
A Pap smear or Pap test is a cervical cancer screening procedure that tests the presence of cancerous or precancerous cells on the cervix (uterus opening). During a pap smear, cervical cells are scraped away gently and examined for malformations or abnormal growth. The procedure is conducted in a doctor’s office. A Pap smear may be uncomfortable; however, it doesn’t cause long-term pain. Pap smears examine the birth canal for abnormal cells which become cervical cancer when left untreated. During a pap smear, a doctor scrapes cervical cells for HPV (Human papillomavirus), a sexually transmitted disease responsible for most cervical cancer cases. The doctor also looks for other abnormal cells such as endometriosis and send them for lab analysis. You should get a pap smear once every two years. Most women start pap smear tests at age 21.