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Pap Test (Papanicolaou Test or Pap Smear)

A Pap test is a test that looks for changes in the cells of the cervix. During the test, your doctor collects a small sample of cells from the cervix, the lower part of your uterus. The cells are sent to a lab and tested to see if they contain certain changes that could turn into cervical cancer.

When your Pap test result is "abnormal," it means that the test found some cells that don't look normal. They may not be cancer, but you may need more testing to find out for sure.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerSarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerKirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
Last RevisedDecember 12, 2012

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: December 12, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.