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Health Screening for Women Tips

First Trimester Screening - Why Is It Necessary?

Dr. Sumati Saxena 89% (19 ratings)
MBBS, MS - Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Gynaecologist, Allahabad
First Trimester Screening - Why Is It Necessary?

A healthy pregnancy is one where the mother and the child both enjoys good physical and mental health. While all parents wish their child to be in the pink of health, incidences of birth-defects are on the rise. This makes the screening tests, especially during the first trimester, very important. These tests play a significant role in determining the well-being of a pregnant woman and also in the diagnosis of any abnormalities, especially chromosomal or genetic aberrations that can give rise to a host of problems including Trisomy 18 or Down Syndrome in the baby. In this article, we will discuss some of the first-trimester screening tests and their significance.

The screening tests involve a series of blood tests (maternal blood) and ultrasound scans to monitor the movement and development of the fetus.

  1. Maternal blood tests: The proteins PAPP-A (pregnancy-associated plasma protein A) and Free ß-HCG (free-beta human chorionic gonadotropin protein) are produced during the early stages of pregnancy by the placenta. These proteins play a pivotal role in ensuring the well being of the fetus and should ideally be present in a slightly elevated level. A maternal blood test showing a low concentration of PAPP-A and free ß-HCG is often indicative of chromosomal abnormalities or genetic defects in the baby.
  2. Nuchal translucency screening test: A characteristic symptom of Down Syndrome is an increased thickness, especially at the back of the neck. In Nuchal translucency screening (during the first trimester), an ultrasound of the back of the fetal neck is done to check its thickness and also to look for any unwanted accumulation of fluids, both of which contributes significantly in the diagnosis of Down Syndrome.
  3. In some incidences, there may be a combined first-trimester screening (an amalgamation of Nuchal translucency screening and maternal blood tests). The probability of the baby suffering from the chromosomal aberrations such as Down Syndrome, Trisomy 13, can be more precisely determined by the combined screening.

In case the individual or the combined screening tests indicate some abnormalities, few other tests may be carried out such as

  1. Amniocentesis: The test involves collecting a sample of the amniotic fluid (the fluid present inside the amniotic sac and acts as a protective shield for the fetus ensuring healthy fetal development) and examining the cells present in it for chromosomal defects (number as well as structure). Amniocentesis is normally carried out between the 15th-20th week of pregnancy.
  2. Chorionic Villus Sampling: Like Amniocentesis, Chorionic Villus Sampling is also a prenatal diagnostic test that plays an instrumental role in the evaluation of the fetal karyotype that goes a long way in the diagnosis of chromosomal and genetic disorders.

Benefits of First-trimester Screening
The screening tests during the first-trimester comes as a blessing, especially under the following situations

  1. Either of the partners is a carrier of the Down-syndrome (or similar genetic disorder) gene.
  2. You already have a child with a genetic or chromosomal disorder.
  3. Women having a late pregnancy (35 years or more).
2660 people found this helpful

When is Lung Cancer Screening Recommended?

Dr. (Brig.) Ashok 88% (102 ratings)
MBBS, MD - Pulmonary Medicine, DNB - Pulmonary Medicine, MD - Internal Medicine, Diploma in Tuberculosis and Chest Diseases (DTCD)
Pulmonologist, Delhi
When is Lung Cancer Screening Recommended?

One of the major causes of death worldwide is lung cancer and it has been continuously affecting men and women accounting for about 150,000 deaths every year. Astonishingly, this figure is more than the combined death rate of the next three kinds of cancer, namely, colon, breast, and pancreatic cancer.

As with any type of cancer, lung cancer to has increased life expectancy when diagnosed in the earlier stages. Thus, being informed about the causes and signs of this deadly disease becomes critical to treat the condition.

The prevalent causes
The major risk factor for lung cancer is smoking and second-hand or passive smoking. The risks are increased when the smokers are exposed to other potential risk factors such as getting exposed radon and asbestos.

Who should be screened?

  • As said earlier, cancer when diagnosed early has an increased success rate for a cure.
  • Most people do not admit that they are vulnerable to lung cancer and this mindset has to be changed first and foremost.
  • There are many people who would benefit from an early diagnosis. This is because the modern medical procedures are highly beneficial in changing the lives of the affected, for better.
  • People, who are avid smokers or have a history of smoking, should always opt for lung cancer screening.
  • In this regard, it should be kept in mind that people, who have stopped smoking for the last 15 years, should also be tested.
  • People belonging to the age group of 55-80 and who have smoked in the past should also come under the screening procedure.

Who should not be tested and why?
Lung cancer is a ghastly disease, but still, it is advised that everyone should not be screened. These tests involve a lot of risks, which are indeed severe.

  • The first risk is the false-positive test result wherein the test confirms that the patient is suffering from the disease, but he is not.
  • The second risk is over-diagnosis where the cancer is at a benign stage, but there are unnecessary treatments considering it to be dangerous.

Lastly, there is the risk of exposure to radiation.

So, who is the right candidate?
Now the question arises, who should be asked to screen themselves for lung cancer? Or, when is the ideal time to for screening? Because of the risks associated with CT scanning and the chances of doing more harm than good to people who are not prone to having lung cancer, the doctors recommend screening to only those people who are at high risk. Unfortunately, the symptoms of this disease are almost nil in number. To be an ideal candidate for screening, the patient should be in good health and should have a smoking habit as mentioned above.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

2747 people found this helpful

Who Should Be Screened for Lung Cancer?

Dr. Kamal Gera 86% (24 ratings)
MBBS, MD - Pulmonary Medicine
Pulmonologist, Faridabad
Who Should Be Screened for Lung Cancer?

One of the major causes of death worldwide is lung cancer and it has been continuously affecting men and women accounting for about 150,000 deaths every year. Astonishingly, this figure is more than the combined death rate of the next three kinds of cancer, namely, colon, breast, and pancreatic cancer.

As with any type of cancer, lung cancer to has increased life expectancy when diagnosed in the earlier stages. Thus, being informed about the causes and signs of this deadly disease becomes critical to treat the condition.

The prevalent causes
The major risk factor for lung cancer is smoking and second-hand or passive smoking. The risks are increased when the smokers are exposed to other potential risk factors such as getting exposed radon and asbestos.

Who should be screened?

  • As said earlier, cancer when diagnosed early has an increased success rate for a cure.
  • Most people do not admit that they are vulnerable to lung cancer and this mindset has to be changed first and foremost.
  • There are many people who would benefit from an early diagnosis. This is because the modern medical procedures are highly beneficial in changing the lives of the affected, for better.
  • People, who are avid smokers or have a history of smoking, should always opt for lung cancer screening.
  • In this regard, it should be kept in mind that people, who have stopped smoking for the last 15 years, should also be tested.
  • People belonging to the age group of 55-80 and who have smoked in the past should also come under the screening procedure.

Who should not be tested and why?
Lung cancer is a ghastly disease, but still, it is advised that everyone should not be screened. These tests involve a lot of risks, which are indeed severe.

  • The first risk is the false-positive test result wherein the test confirms that the patient is suffering from the disease, but he is not.
  • The second risk is over-diagnosis where the cancer is at a benign stage, but there are unnecessary treatments considering it to be dangerous.

Lastly, there is the risk of exposure to radiation.

So, who is the right candidate?
Now the question arises, who should be asked to screen themselves for lung cancer? Or, when is the ideal time to for screening? Because of the risks associated with CT scanning and the chances of doing more harm than good to people who are not prone to having lung cancer, the doctors recommend screening to only those people who are at high risk. Unfortunately, the symptoms of this disease are almost nil in number. To be an ideal candidate for screening, the patient should be in good health and should have a smoking habit as mentioned above.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

2539 people found this helpful

Screening Tests for Common Diseases

Dr. Ramakanth Reddy 94% (157 ratings)
MBBS, Diploma In Child Health
Pediatrician, Hyderabad
Screening Tests for Common Diseases

What is a screening test?

A screening test is done to detect potential health disorders or diseases in people who do not have any symptoms of disease. The goal is early detection and lifestyle changes or surveillance, to reduce the risk of disease, or to detect it early enough to treat it most effectively. Screening tests are not considered diagnostic, but are used to identify a subset of the population who should have additional testing to determine the presence or absence of disease.

When is a screening test helpful?

What makes a screening test valuable is its ability to detect potential problems, while minimizing unclear, ambiguous, or confusing results. While screening tests are not 100% accurate in all cases, it is generally more valuable to have the screening tests at the appropriate times, as recommended by your healthcare provider, than to not have them at all. However, some screening tests, when used in people not at high risk for disease, or when testing for very rare diseases, can cause more problems than they help.

Some common screening tests

Be sure to consult your healthcare provider regarding the appropriate timing and frequency of all screening tests based on your age, overall health, and medical history. The following are some examples of common screening tests:

Cholesterol measurements

Cholesterol is a waxy substance that can be found in all parts of the body. It aids in the production of cell membranes, some hormones, and vitamin D. The cholesterol in the blood comes from 2 sources: the food you eat and production in your liver. However, the liver produces all of the cholesterol the body needs.

Cholesterol and other fats are transported in the bloodstream in the form of spherical particles, called lipoproteins. The 2 most commonly known lipoproteins are low-density lipoproteins (LDL), or "bad" cholesterol, and high-density lipoproteins (HDL), or "good" cholesterol.

Cholesterol screening is performed by a blood test. People with high cholesterol measurements from a blood sample have a higher risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD), than those with cholesterol in the normal range. Studies have shown that people with high cholesterol can reduce their risk for heart disease by lowering their cholesterol. It is important to understand, however, that people can still have heart disease even with cholesterol levels in the normal range.

Fecal occult blood test

Fecal occult blood is detected by microscopic analysis or by chemical tests for hemoglobin (blood) in the stool. People with blood in their stool may have a cancerous growth indicative of colorectal cancer. The test requires collection of 3 stool samples that are examined under the microscope for blood. It is important to understand that when blood is present in a stool sample, it can be due to other noncancerous factors, such as certain medications or foods, gastrointestinal bleeding, or hemorrhoids. Testing is recommended starting at age 50 by many organizations including the American Cancer Society.

Pap test (also called Pap smears)

Pap smears are samples of cells taken from the cervix in women to look for cellular changes indicative of cervical cancer. The Pap smear is an important screening test in sexually active women under the age of 65, to detect cancer at a stage when there are often no symptoms. It is important to understand that a Pap smear may be referred to as "abnormal," but may not mean that a person has cervical cancer. Some organizations also recommend HPV (human papilloma virus) screening in certain populations during the Pap smear.

Prostate specific antigen (PSA)

This blood test measures the prostate specific antigen (PSA) levels in the blood. Antigens are any substances that evoke responses from a person's immune system. The prostate specific antigen levels can be elevated in the presence of prostate cancer. However, it is important to understand that other benign prostate conditions may also elevate PSA, such as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), which is noncancerous swelling of the prostate. The PSA test is not recommended for all men, and there is considerable controversy over the role of PSA testing. Some organizations, such as the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), now recommend against PSA screening. The pros and cons of PSA screening should always be discussed with your healthcare provider before testing. Some of the cons include unnecessary testing and procedures, unnecessary costs, and significantly increased anxiety.

Mammography

Many organizations, including the USPSTF, recommend mammography screening for breast cancer every 1 year to 2 years after age 50. This test is done in conjunction with a clinical breast exam

Colonoscopy

Many organizations, including the USPSTF, recommend screening for colon cancer or colon polyps at age 50, earlier if you have a family history or other risk factors

Diabetes or prediabetes

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends that all adults be screened for diabetes or prediabetes starting at age 45, regardless of weight. Additionally, individuals without symptoms of diabetes should be screened if they are overweight or obese and have one or more additional diabetes risk factors.

Consult your healthcare provider regarding all of these as well as other types of screening tests, based on your medical condition, as not all healthcare providers are in agreement in regard to which screening tests should be done and for which age groups.

1 person found this helpful

Health Screening!

Dt. Archna Gupta 89% (678 ratings)
PG Diploma in Nutrition & Dietetics, M.Sc.in Food & Nutrition
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Ghaziabad
Health Screening!

HEALTH SCREENING 

ARE YOU UP TO DATE?     

REGULAR HEALTH CHECKS CAN KEEP YOU HEALTHY AND HEAD OFF MAJOR PROBLEMS. READER’S DIGEST HAS THE RUN-DOWN ON THE SCREENING TESTS THAT HELP YOU STAY IN TOP FROM     

AGE

TEST

DESCRIPTION

FREQUENCY

COMMENTS

FROM

2 YRS

DENTAL CHECK-UP

 REGULAR EXAMINATION  BY A DENTIST

EVERY 12 MONTHS

TIMINING VISITS SHOULD BE ASSESSED BY DENTIST ON A CASE –BY-CASE BASIS

FROM SCHOOL AGE

EYE CHECK

THOROUGH OF EYE HEALTH AND VISION BY AN OPHTHALMOLOGIST

EVERY 2 YEARS

CHECKS MAY NEED TO BE MORE OFTEN IF ADVISED BY OPHTHALMOLOGIST

FROM

18 YRS

BLOOD PRESSUR

BP CUFF APPLIED TO ARM BY GP

EVERY 12 MONTH

MORE FREQUENTLY IF YOU HAVE RISKY LIFESTYLE FACTORS OR ARE AT HIGH RISK DUE TO FAMILY HISTORY OF HIGH BP

FROM

 18 YRS

CHOLESTEROL AND LIPIDS

BLOOD TEST ORDERED BY GP

EVERY 12 MONTHS

MORE FREQUENTLY IF YOU HAVE RISK FACTOR AND FAMILY HISTORY OF PREMATURE CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE OR EXISTING DIAGNOSES

FROM ADVENT OF SEXUAL ACTIVITY

CHLAMYDIA

BLOOD TEST ORDERED BY GYNAECOLOGIST/UROLO-GIST

EVERY 1-2 YEARS

GYNAECOLOGIST/UROLOGIST MAY ASK ABOUT SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED INFECTIONS

1 person found this helpful

Cervical Cancer Screening - What Should You Know?

Dr. Manisha Tomar 90% (16 ratings)
MBBS, DGO, DNB
Gynaecologist, Noida
Cervical Cancer Screening - What Should You Know?

Cervical cancer is a malignancy that grows in the lining of the cervix. Cervical cancer screening includes 2 types of screening tests such as HPV testing and the Cytology based screening. The Cytology based screening is also referred to as Pap smear. The abnormal cells that can develop into cancer, if they are left untreated, can be detected with the Pap test. It is the best method for preventing cervical cancer and even to check for the HPV Virus. Pap tests are done in different ways but the most common method is to brush the cells off to get a sample from the cervical region. These cells are then sent to the lab for testing which is done by placing them on a glass slide and observing them under a microscope.

When cervical cancer screening should be done-
It is necessary for women to get the cervical screening done at the age of 21 years. Pap test should be done every 3 years by women who are between the ages of 21-29 years and unless it is really needed the HPV test need not be done. Whereas women who are in between the ages of 30-65 should get the Pap test as well as the HPV test once in 5 years.

The precancerous changes in the cervix can be detected through the Pap smear screening. The number of deaths that have occurred due to this cancer have been reduced by using this effective screening tool which was introduced 50 years ago. The possible causes of cervical cancer are a weak immune system, smoking, consuming oral contraceptives and having several sexual partners.

Important Guidelines to Follow
Women who are over 65 years and who have done regular Pap smear screening over the past 10 years must not do the screening tests unless they have any serious pre-cancers found.

Women of any age must not opt for any of the screening methods every year. Even women who have removed their cervix and uterus must not do the screening tests.

Many women feel that they do not have to do the screening tests after they have delivered or birth of a child but it is not true. The main benefit of screening is that most cervical cancers can be prevented and it is the best way to find abnormal changes in the cervical cells.

Why cervical cancer screening is important?
The cervical cancer screening is an important test in the health checkup for women. There are certain risks involved in cervical screening and it is better to consult the doctor for advice on the right age to do the screening and how often it must be done. These days there are vaccines available that are used to prevent infections by targeting the several strains of HPV. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

 

3933 people found this helpful

Screening for Prehypertension

Dr. Naresh Kumar Monigari 90% (309 ratings)
MD - General Medicine, MBBS
General Physician, Karimnagar
Screening for Prehypertension

Guidelines for vary from time to time, but generally accepted classification of hypertension ( JNC7)is

Average of two or more properly measured readings at each of two or more visits after an initial screen:

Normal                  < 120 mm Hg SBP             AND   DBP < 90 mm Hg

Prehypertension    120 -139 mm Hg SBP     OR      DBP 80 to 89 mm Hg

Stage 1 HTN            140 -159 mm Hg SBP     OR      DBP 90 to 99 mm Hg

Stage 2 HTN            >/= 160 mm of Hg SBP   OR     DBP >/= 100 mm Hg.

Prevalence of prehypertension among adults in United States is approximately 37 percent.

Study done by Yadhav S et al showed prevalence of prehypetension was 32.3 percent in India with highest  36% among 30-39 yrs age group, indicates that awareness is necessary for regular blood pressure check up.

People diagnosed with hypertension represents “tip  of an iceberg”.

Many patients get to know about their raised blood pressures at the time of diagnosis, heart attack, stroke or kidney disease( end organ failures) which would have been preventable  if treated at an early stage.

Why hypertension should be diagnosed and treated ?

Hypertension currently causes  2/3rd s of all strokes and half of all cases of ischemic heart disease.

Reduction in high blood pressure leads to large reduction in stroke, heart failure, renal failure, aortic dissection, coronary events and death.

Prehypertension: It is an entity where SBP >120 -139 mm Hg or DBP 80-89 mm Hg.

Multiple epidemiological studies demonstrated increased cardiovascular risk in patients with prehypertension.People with prehypertension have increased risk of progression to sustained hypertension, the prevalence of hypertension increases from approximately 10 percent at age of 30 yrs to as high as 90 percent after age of 65 yrs.

Framinham hypertension risk prediction score, may help identification of prehypertensive patients who are at gretest risk for pregression to hypertension. Risk calculator includes variables like age, sex, family history of hypertension, body mass index and smoking.  Most important predictors of these were higher baseline blood pressure and older age.

Screening for hypertension: optimal interval for screening is not known.

2007 USPSTF( United States Preventive Services Task Force) guidelines recommend

Screening every    two years for persons with SBP <120 mm Hg and DBP < 80 mm Hg     

                                 Yearly for persons with SBP 120-139 mm Hg or a DBP 80 -89 mm Hg

How to manage Prehypertension:

TROPHY stydy( TRial Of preventing Hypertension)  results showed that there is no role for pharmacotherapy in prehypertension except in special conditions like diabetes, chronic kidney disease etc.

Treatment:As per JNC 7 reccomendations patients with prehypertension who do not have diabetes, chronic kidney disease , end organ damage , or clinical evidence of cardiovascular disease are generally treated with non pharmacological therapies.

Major non pharmacological therapies that aid to decrease blood pressure are: 

Weight reduction:  Maintain normal body weight ( BMI 18.5 to 24.9 kg/m2)  this can reduce BP by 5 to 20 mm hg per 10kg weight loss.

Adopt DASH eating plan : (DASH- Dietary Approach To Stop Hypertension) consists of fruits, vegetables, legumes, low-fat dairy products with reduced saturated and total fat.This can reduce BP by 8 to 14 mm Hg.

Dietary sodium Restriction: Reduce dietary sodium intake to no more than 100meq/day(2.4 gm sodium or 6 gm of sodium chloride). This can reduce BP by 2 to 8 mm Hg.

Physical activity: Engage in a regular aerobic physical activity such as brisk walking (at least 30 min per day, most days of the week). This can reduce BP by 4 to 9 mm Hg.

Moderation of alcohol: Limit consumption of alcohol to no more than 2 drinks per day in most men and no more than 1 drink in women and lighter weight persons. This can reduce BP by 2 to 4 mm Hg.

2 people found this helpful

Pap Smear - Understanding Its Role In Cancer Screening!

Dr. Sagar Bumb 89% (36 ratings)
DGO , MBBS
Gynaecologist, Pune
Pap Smear - Understanding Its Role In Cancer Screening!

Cervical cancer can throw life completely off balance. It is one of the most common types of cancer affecting women worldwide. Lack of an early diagnosis makes this life threatening condition almost untreatable. A Pap smear also referred to as a Pap Test comes as a ray of hope for many women.

A Pap smear is a screening test that plays a pivotal role in the diagnosis and detection of cervical cancer in women. A Pap smear may further be used to point out any abnormalities in the cervical cells which may have a potential to turn malignant in the future. Doctors recommend all women (between 21-65 years of age) to undergo a pap smear to be on the safer side. While most women are advised to repeat the pap smear between every 3-5 years, women with the following conditions or ailments should be extra careful.

  1. Women who are HIV positive or those with a weak immune system.
  2. Those who have undergone an organ transplant.
  3. Any woman whose pap smear indicates the presence of precancerous cells.
  4. Women who had chemotherapy sessions.

The above mentioned conditions do not necessarily imply a 100% probability of cervical cancer. Consult your doctor and follow the necessary advice and precautions.

The procedure involved in a Pap smear
The Pap test is not a very tedious process and is often carried out in the doctor's clinic itself. The person to undergo the test is made to lie down on her back (the knees should be in a bent position). The physician then carefully inserts a speculum into the vagina. The main idea is to widen the vaginal walls so that the doctor can have a clear view of the cervix. Next, using a spatula, the doctor will collect samples of your cervical cells and send it for examination.


The significance of the Pap smear result

  • A negative test indicates a healthy cervix with no precancerous cells.
  • A positive result can, however, have many implications, such as there can be a condition known as dysplasia (minute alterations in the cervical cells). There may be some inflammation. However, the condition may be nothing to lose your sleep over. In many women, the condition heals by itself. A thorough investigation, (colonoscopy followed by a biopsy) may be needed if the problem persists for long.

Further, there can be 

  • Squamous intraepithelial lesion: This, unfortunately, indicates the presence of precancerous cells.
  • Squamous cell cancer: As the name suggests, this more than often, confirms the presence of malignant or cancer cells.
  • Atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance: Here the squamous cells appear very flat and thin, growing on the cervical surface. The condition may not necessarily indicate something serious. The person concerned may require further tests for a better interpretation of the condition.

A Pap smear is for your good. Go for a Pap smear and also encourage women in your circle to indulge in this healthy practice. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Gynaecologist.

4372 people found this helpful

Pap Smear - Its Role In Cancer Screening!

Dr. Tripti Raheja 87% (10 ratings)
M.R.C.O.G. (LONDON) Gold Medalist, MD - Obstetrics & Gynaecology , MBBS
Gynaecologist, Delhi
Pap Smear - Its Role In Cancer Screening!

Cervical cancer can throw life completely off balance. It is one of the most common types of cancer affecting women worldwide. Lack of an early diagnosis makes this life threatening condition almost untreatable. A Pap smear also referred to as a Pap Test comes as a ray of hope for many women.

A Pap smear is a screening test that plays a pivotal role in the diagnosis and detection of cervical cancer in women. A Pap smear may further be used to point out any abnormalities in the cervical cells which may have a potential to turn malignant in the future. Doctors recommend all women (between 21-65 years of age) to undergo a pap smear to be on the safer side. While most women are advised to repeat the pap smear between every 3-5 years, women with the following conditions or ailments should be extra careful.

  1. Women who are HIV positive or those with a weak immune system.
  2. Those who have undergone an organ transplant.
  3. Any woman whose pap smear indicates the presence of precancerous cells.
  4. Women who had chemotherapy sessions.

The above mentioned conditions do not necessarily imply a 100% probability of cervical cancer. Consult your doctor and follow the necessary advice and precautions.

The procedure involved in a Pap smear
The Pap test is not a very tedious process and is often carried out in the doctor's clinic itself. The person to undergo the test is made to lie down on her back (the knees should be in a bent position). The physician then carefully inserts a speculum into the vagina. The main idea is to widen the vaginal walls so that the doctor can have a clear view of the cervix. Next, using a spatula, the doctor will collect samples of your cervical cells and send it for examination.


The significance of the Pap smear result

 

  • A negative test indicates a healthy cervix with no precancerous cells.
  • A positive result can, however, have many implications, such as there can be a condition known as dysplasia (minute alterations in the cervical cells). There may be some inflammation. However, the condition may be nothing to lose your sleep over. In many women, the condition heals by itself. A thorough investigation, (colposcopy followed by a biopsy) may be needed if the problem persists for long.

Further, there can be 

  • Squamous intraepithelial lesion: This, unfortunately, indicates the presence of precancerous cells.
  • Squamous cell cancer: As the name suggests, this more than often, confirms the presence of malignant or cancer cells.
  • Atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance: Here the squamous cells appear very flat and thin, growing on the cervical surface. The condition may not necessarily indicate something serious. The person concerned may require further tests for a better interpretation of the condition.

A Pap smear is for your good. Go for a Pap smear and also encourage women in your circle to indulge in this healthy practice. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

5790 people found this helpful

Pap Smear - Know About Its Role In Cancer Screening!

Dr. Shashi Agarwal 85% (78 ratings)
MBBS, DNB
Gynaecologist, Bangalore
Pap Smear - Know About Its Role In Cancer Screening!

Cervical cancer can throw life completely off balance. It is one of the most common types of cancer affecting women worldwide. Lack of an early diagnosis makes this life threatening condition almost untreatable. A Pap smear also referred to as a Pap Test comes as a ray of hope for many women.

A Pap smear is a screening test that plays a pivotal role in the diagnosis and detection of cervical cancer in women. A Pap smear may further be used to point out any abnormalities in the cervical cells which may have a potential to turn malignant in the future. Doctors recommend all women (between 21-65 years of age) to undergo a pap smear to be on the safer side. While most women are advised to repeat the pap smear between every 3-5 years, women with the following conditions or ailments should be extra careful.

  1. Women who are HIV positive or those with a weak immune system.
  2. Those who have undergone an organ transplant.
  3. Any woman whose pap smear indicates the presence of precancerous cells.
  4. Women who had chemotherapy sessions.

The above mentioned conditions do not necessarily imply a 100% probability of cervical cancer. Consult your doctor and follow the necessary advice and precautions.

The procedure involved in a Pap smear
The Pap test is not a very tedious process and is often carried out in the doctor's clinic itself. The person to undergo the test is made to lie down on her back (the knees should be in a bent position). The physician then carefully inserts a speculum into the vagina. The main idea is to widen the vaginal walls so that the doctor can have a clear view of the cervix. Next, using a spatula, the doctor will collect samples of your cervical cells and send it for examination.


The significance of the Pap smear result

 

  • A negative test indicates a healthy cervix with no precancerous cells.
  • A positive result can, however, have many implications, such as there can be a condition known as dysplasia (minute alterations in the cervical cells). There may be some inflammation. However, the condition may be nothing to lose your sleep over. In many women, the condition heals by itself. A thorough investigation, (colonoscopy followed by a biopsy) may be needed if the problem persists for long.

Further, there can be 

  • Squamous intraepithelial lesion: This, unfortunately, indicates the presence of precancerous cells.
  • Squamous cell cancer: As the name suggests, this more than often, confirms the presence of malignant or cancer cells.
  • Atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance: Here the squamous cells appear very flat and thin, growing on the cervical surface. The condition may not necessarily indicate something serious. The person concerned may require further tests for a better interpretation of the condition.

A Pap smear is for your good. Go for a Pap smear and also encourage women in your circle to indulge in this healthy practice. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

2406 people found this helpful
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