Dra. Joana Faria - Ginecologist-Obstetrician - Lisbon, Portugal
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Cervical cancer screening (Pap smear &/or HPV Test)

Cervical cancer is the easiest gynecologic cancer to prevent if regular screening tests and follow-up are done. Two screening tests can help to prevent cervical cancer or allow an early detection:

  • The Pap test (or Pap smear) looks for precancer lesions which are cell changes on the cervix that might become cervical cancer if they are not treated appropriately.
  • The HPV test looks for the presence of the human papilloma virus (HPV) that can cause these cell changes.

The Pap test is recommended for all women that started sexual life, between the ages of 21 and 65 years old, in a regular basis, and is performed during your routine consultation.

During the Pap test or HPV test, the doctor will use a plastic or metal instrument, called a speculum, to widen your vagina. This helps the doctor to examine the vagina and the cervix, and to 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.

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