My Pap Smear Results Were Abnormal — Now What?

Regular checkups with your doctor can help keep you healthy and prevent you from developing many conditions and diseases. In addition, medical monitoring ensures that any problems you do have can be diagnosed and treated at an early stage. For women, regular checkups that include a Pap smear can prevent the development of cervical cancer, one of the most slow-growing but dangerous cancers.

At University Executive Physical Program in Beverly Hills, California, Dr. Shawn Veiseh is a board-certified internist who provides comprehensive medical care for men and women across Los Angeles. He provides the treatment and referrals you need to take charge of your health and prevent you from developing more serious conditions and diseases.

What is a Pap smear?

A Pap smear is a diagnostic procedure used to check for cervical cancer in women. Dr. Veiseh takes a small sample of cells from the cervix, which is the lower end of your uterus. He then sends this sample to a laboratory to determine if there are any abnormal cells that could indicate cancer.

What is an abnormal result?

If you receive an abnormal result from your Pap smear, take a deep breath. This result simply means that cells were found on your cervix that are unusual. These cells are most likely from the human papillomavirus, the most common sexually transmitted disease.

An abnormal test result doesn’t necessarily mean that you have cervical cancer. It just means that Dr. Veiseh is likely to suggest that you have the cells examined more carefully to rule out any problems. So, what’s next?

What should you do if your results are abnormal?

Dr. Veiseh lets you know what, if anything, you need to do next. It’s possible that he might direct you to get a colposcopy, a procedure that uses a special lens to get a closer look at your cervix. If he recommends a colposcopy, schedule your appointment and go; don’t put it off.

To complete the colposcopy, your doctor uses a speculum like the one used for your Pap test. Using the colposcope, which has a bright light and lens, they look for any areas that appear to have abnormal cell growth. If any areas seem to be abnormal, they take a small sample, known as a biopsy, for lab testing.

Once the results of this test are available, your doctor lets you know if you need to do anything further. Take care of yourself, and try not to let fear take over. Even if you have cancerous cells, cervical cancer is a slow-growing type of cancer and it has a good recovery rate if caught early. 

Take control of your health by scheduling a physical exam today. Routine medical care, including regular Pap smears, is essential to your health maintenance and early detection of conditions and illnesses.

To set up an appointment at University Executive Physical Program, call our office today or use our convenient online booking tool

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