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How can a pap test help prevent cervical cancer?

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This is your first line of defense. It is performed during a pelvic exam and checks your cervical cells for signs that they’re becoming, or have already become, pre-cancerous.

If you have an abnormal Pap test, your doctor will do more tests to look more closely at the cervix. They'll also remove more tissue from your cervix for a biopsy. Identifying pre-cancerous cells will allow treatment to prevent them from becoming cancer.

SOURCES:

CDC: “Cervical Cancer is Preventable;” “Human Papillomavirus (HPV): Questions and Answers;” and “What Should I Know About Screening?”

American Cancer Society: “Cervical Cancer: Detailed Guide”  and “HPV and HPV Testing.”

Mayo Clinic. “Cervical Cancer.”

Office on Women’s Health. “Pap Test.”

Reviewed by Lisa Bernstein on October 21, 2018

SOURCES:

CDC: “Cervical Cancer is Preventable;” “Human Papillomavirus (HPV): Questions and Answers;” and “What Should I Know About Screening?”

American Cancer Society: “Cervical Cancer: Detailed Guide”  and “HPV and HPV Testing.”

Mayo Clinic. “Cervical Cancer.”

Office on Women’s Health. “Pap Test.”

Reviewed by Lisa Bernstein on October 21, 2018

NEXT QUESTION:

How can doctors get rid of pre-cancerous cells that cause cervical cancer?

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