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PAP SMEAR/Liquid Based Cytology

male-infertility

Overview

Pap smear is a screening test for cervical cancer in women. Cancer is a condition that results from abnormal cell growth. If there is abnormal growth of cells in the cervix (mouth of the womb) it causes cervical cancer. PAP smear test can help in diagnosis of cervical cancer.

A doctor will use small brushes to extract cervix cells during a pap smear test. He/She will then further examine the cells to look for any cell alterations or abnormalities. To better understand this test in detail, let’s learn about cervical cancer and PAP smear.

The presence of infection or inflammation might well be detected by a Pap smear. A pelvic exam or a screening for specific forms of human papillomavirus(HPV) might be conducted simultaneously as this procedure. 

Everything You Need to Know About PAP SMEAR/Liquid Based Cytology

PAP SMEAR Liquid Based Cytology | Who conducts this test | Symptoms | Process | During | How is Different | Conclusion

What is PAP SMEAR/Liquid Based Cytology?

Cervical cancer is detected using a Pap smear, often known as a Pap test. Pap smear test is short form of Papanicolaou test. The thin, lower part of your uterus at the upper edge of your vagina is called the cervix. Your doctor will collect cells for a Pap smear from this same location. 

Cervical cancer has a high chance of successful treatment if it gets diagnosed early. It is also possible to discover cancer-causing alterations in the cervical cells using an ultra-sensitive Pap smear. Cervical cancer may be prevented in the early stages by performing a Pap smear to identify precancerous cells.

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Who should conduct this test?

Between 21 to 65, a woman should take the exam every three years. At the age of 30, you might well have your Pap smear and HPV tests done simultaneously. So when you do so, you’ll have to get tested once every five years. 

There is a relationship between HPV, and cervical cancer, which is the highest prevalent sexually transmitted disease. Your physician may advise you to undergo a Pap test more often if you have specific health issues. 

Here are a few examples one might get cervical cancer:

  • The presence of precancerous cells in the Pap smear or cervical cancer
  • Infection with HIV
  • Chronic usage of corticosteroids or transplant-induced immunosuppression
  • Diethylstilbestrol (DES) exposure before birth.

If you already have any issues or queries, speak with your doctor. They will let you know about the causes.

    Symptoms

    During an early stage of cervical cancer, a woman might see no signs or symptoms. However, the following are some symptoms of much more developed cervical cancer:

    • Periodic vaginal bleeding occurs after a sexual encounter, between cycles, or after menopause.
    • Watery, bloody vaginal flow that could be thick and also have a foul odour is caused by a yeast infection.
    • Pelvic pain or discomfort during sexual contact.

    If you have been experiencing any or all of these symptoms, consult your doctor immediately. 

      Process of Pap Smear Test

      While discussing cervical cancer treatments, your doctor will schedule a consultation beforehand. For this, a doctor or nurse explains what the procedure will be like. To ensure the Pap test is accurate, the following considerations should be made before getting one.

      • Do not use any vaginal drugs. 
      • Do not engage in sexual activity before the test.
      • Refrain from using tampons for at least 24 hours before the Pap test.
      • Please refrain from using spermicidal foams, jellies, or lotions for at least 2 days before the Pap test since they may wipe away the precancerous cells.
      • Make sure you don’t schedule a Pap test around your period.

        During a Pap Test

        Pap smear is a quick procedure that can be performed in an outpatient setting or the physician’s office. You will have to change into a bathrobe or remove clothing below the waist for screening.

        Your doctor will ask you to lie on your back with your legs bent on the operating table. The physician will then insert a speculum into your vagina to keep the walls aside and look for the cervix. Some women may feel discomfort in the vagina after speculum implantation, which is normal.

        A sample of cells of the cervix is then taken using a tiny and delicate brush or by scraping instruments known as spatulas, depending on the doctor’s preference. Cervical cells may be collected without causing any discomfort during the scraping or collection procedure.

        Once the doctor examines the sample, he can tell if there are any abnormalities or alterations. Moreover, Liquid Based Cytology is an advanced method to diagnose cervical cancer. It improves result accuracy and looks for other factors like HIV, etc.

          How is Liquid Based Cytology different from the Pap Smear test?

          Liquid-Based Cytology is a similar procedure to pap tests that detects cervical cancer. This procedure extracts the cells from the cervix with a small brush. Unlike a pap test where the sample is directly placed on the slide, we deposit it in a bottle with preservative liquid. Soon, other elements like mucus and blood are separated to examine the thin layer of cells.

            Conclusion

            Cervical cancer can be severe if it gets detected at an advanced stage. Understanding its causes and symptoms is crucial to getting an early diagnosis. 

            Your doctor will suggest a pap smear or liquid-based cytology to diagnose cervical cancer. If cancer gets diagnosed early, there are high chances of starting early treatment.

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