Having Pap smears at recommended intervals is the most important thing a woman can do to protect herself from developing cervical cancer.
Regular Pap testing is important because
- no test is 100 percent accurate
- no one can predict who will develop cervical cancer
- this procedure enables healthcare providers to detect early precancerous changes in the tissue of the cervix and treat them before they become cancerous
- women who have regular Pap smears are much less likely to develop cervical cancer than are women who don't have the test regularly, because they get early treatment for precancerous conditions.
Between 60 and 80 percent of women with newly diagnosed cervical cancer haven't had a Pap smear in at least 5 years. A woman who's had regular Pap smears can still develop cervical cancer, but her condition will almost certainly be diagnosed in its earliest, most curable stage.
Nice To Know:
When a woman has had three normal Pap smears in a row
A woman may need more-frequent Pap smears if she