Smear (Cervical Cancer Screening Test)
Smear is the cervical cancer screening test the women who turned 21 years old and are sexually active must have triennially.
Where is cervix?
It is the place where uterus opens to vagina. It is the other name of the neck of the uterus. Normally, it is closed rather firmly, but it opens to let the baby out during birth.
What is Smear Test (Cervical Cancer Screening Test)?
The smear or Pap smear test is an early warning test that shows whether there is any cellular change in the cervix, which may turn into cancer, in addition to detecting any existing cervical cancer.
What are the causes of cervical cancer, and what are the risk factors?
- Having the first sexual intercourse at an early age
- Women diagnosed to have HPV (Human Papilloma Virus)
- Women who have multiple sex partners or whose partners have multiple sex partners
- Autoimmune diseases
- HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) infection or any condition that weakens the immune system
Must all women have smear test?
Yes. All women who turned 21 years old and are sexually active must have cervical cancer screening test.
How is the smear test done?
In order to see and reach the cervix, your doctor inserts a speculum into the vagina. Cell samples are taken by smearing the cervix with a small brush, and these samples are sent to the pathology laboratory for analysis. The pathology doctor examines these cells under the microscope to see if there is any abnormal development.
Do I feel pain during the test?
No. The smear test is simple and painless. If you are nervous, you may feel a bit uncomfortable.
Is there anything I should do in advance?
You do not need to do anything special to get ready for the smear test. Preferably, you are requested not to have sexual intercourse, and not to use vaginal shower, vaginal fuse or cream for 2 days immediately before the smear test. However, since this is a screening test, the smear test can be done in these situations as well. While performing the smear test, the patient must not have menstrual bleeding or intense vaginal discharge.
When should I have smear test?
It depends on your age and the results of your previous smear tests. For the purpose of screening, it is sufficient that the interval of cervical smear tests is triennial within the age range of 21-29. Having this test more frequently does not increase your chance of being protected from the cervical cancer. Between the ages 30 and 65, if the Pap smear test is applied alone, it is sufficient to have it once every 3 years; and if it is applied together with the HPV test, once every 5 years is sufficient. HPV test plus Pap smear screening provide better protection against cancer.
How can I be protected from cervical cancer?
Have the smear screening tests regularly.
Ask your doctor for information about the HPV vaccine.
Use condom to be protected from sexually transmitted diseases.