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Pap Smears

From delivering babies to fighting breast cancer, a woman’s health is tested throughout the years. You deserve to have a team of physicians to keep you strong and healthy so that you can tend to all the other things in your life. At Shelby Baptist Medical Center, you will find a team of medical leaders who have dedicated their careers to treating women’s health issues.

Why is a Pap test recommended?

A Pap test (sometimes called a Pap smear) is a way to examine cells collected from the cervix, or the opening of the womb (located at the top of the vagina), for the presence of:

  • Infection
  • Inflammation
  • Abnormal cells
  • Precancerous changes or cancer

A Pap test, along with a pelvic exam, is an important part of a woman’s routine health care because it may detect abnormalities that can lead to invasive cancer. Most cancers of the cervix can be detected early if women have Pap tests and pelvic examinations regularly. As with many types of cancer, cancer of the cervix is more likely to be successfully treated if it is detected early.

The Pap test is useful for detecting not only cancerous cells, but also other cervical and vaginal abnormalities including dysplasia (precancerous cells) and inflammation. Inflammation may be caused by:

  • Yeast infections
  • Trichomoniasis infections
  • Bacteria
  • Viruses
  • Medications or other chemicals

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