The idea of receiving an abnormal Pap smear result sounds scary, but it doesn’t mean you definitely have cervical cancer. Diana Heard, MD, Olga Vega, PA, and the team at Glendale Obstetrics and Gynecology, PC in Glendale, Arizona, diagnose and treat all types of abnormal Pap smears. They use colposcopy to examine your cervix and employ techniques like loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP) and cryotherapy to treat abnormal cells. To find out more about abnormal Pap smears and colposcopy, call Glendale Obstetrics and Gynecology, PC, or book an appointment online today.
A Pap smear is a routine screening test for cervical cancer that also detects human papillomavirus (HPV) infections, the leading cause of cervical cancer. If the results that come back from the lab show any abnormalities, your provider can perform further investigations, including a colposcopy, to determine whether you have cancer.
Pap smears are something all women should have at regular intervals, typically every three years. They often form part of a well-woman exam, or you can visit Glendale Obstetrics and Gynecology, PC just to have your smear.
The test involves taking a sample of cells from your cervix during a pelvic exam. Your provider swabs your cervix and sends the sample for testing. The lab analyzes the cells and highlights anything abnormal but doesn’t confirm you have cancer.
Try not to be too alarmed if you have an abnormal Pap smear. As your Glendale Obstetrics and Gynecology, PC OB/GYN will explain, most abnormal Pap smears are due to common problems like inflammation in the cervical cells rather than cancer.
If further testing confirms cervical cancer, screening identifies it long before you experience any symptoms. The early stages of cancer are far more responsive to treatment than later, advanced stages, meaning you have an excellent chance of a successful outcome.
To find out what’s causing your abnormal Pap smear, your Glendale Obstetrics and Gynecology, PC OB/GYN performs a colposcopy procedure.
A colposcopy involves using a magnifying device (colposcope) to look at your cervix. Your OB/GYN assesses the size, location, and type of any abnormal cells and may take biopsies (tissue samples) for further lab testing.
Using this information, your OB/GYN can confirm whether your cervical cells are precancerous or cancerous. They can then recommend the appropriate treatment, which might involve a loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP) or cryotherapy.
LEEP involves removing a cone-shaped section of tissue (cone biopsy) from your cervix using a thin wire loop inserted into your vagina. Cryotherapy freezes and destroys abnormal cervical cells.
To find out more about abnormal Pap smears and colposcopy or schedule an exam, call Glendale Obstetrics and Gynecology, PC, or book an appointment online today.