Cervical cancer is the easiest female cancer to prevent, with regular screening tests and follow-up. Two screening tests can help prevent cervical cancer or find it early— Pap test and HPV test
The Pap test (or Pap smear) looks for precancers, cell changes on the cervix that might become cervical cancer if they are not treated appropriately.The HPV test looks for the virus (human papillomavirus
) that can cause these cell changes. The Pap test is recommended for all women, and can be done in a doctor's office or clinic. During the Pap test, the doctor will use a plastic or metal instrument, called a speculum, to widen your vagina. This helps the doctor examine the vagina and the cervix, and collect a few cells and mucus from the cervix and the area around it. The cells are then placed on a slide or in a bottle of liquid and sent to a laboratory. The laboratory will check to be sure that the cells are normal.
If you are getting the HPV test in addition to the Pap test, the cells collected during the Pap test will be tested for HPV at the laboratory. Talk with your doctor, nurse, or other health care professional about whether the HPV test is right for you.
to find more go to http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/cervical/basic_info/screening.htm