Vim & Vigor - Fall 2018 - Parrish Medical Center - 39

TRUE OR FALSE:

The Pap test screens for HPV.

FALSE. The Pap test examines cells brushed from the cervix, at the
bottom of the uterus, to detect abnormal changes (dysplasia) that could
be precancerous. The Pap can also find cancer cells. HPV microscopic
testing can be done at the same time and use the same specimen to look
for human papillomavirus (HPV), which causes cervical cancer. When
the tests are done at the same screening, the effort is called Pap and
HPV co-testing.

TRUE OR FALSE:

A Pap test with an abnormal result means cancer.

FALSE. Usually, an abnormal Pap test means that abnormal cells that
can precede cancer have been identified, or that an infection is present.
Doctor and patient will discuss the specific abnormality and how to proceed, ranging from repeat Pap testing in six months or a year to more
advanced tests such as colposcopy.

TRUE OR FALSE:

Women who have had the HPV vaccine still need to have
Pap tests.
TRUE. The HPV vaccine offers protection from some types of the
virus, including HPV 16 and 18, which cause cervical cancer. The vaccine
is not fail-safe and does not protect against all HPV infections that cause
cancer. Dysplasia can still be found with the Pap screening.

TRUE OR FALSE:

WHEN A
PAP TEST IS

ABNORMAL
An abnormal Pap screening result usually does not mean cancer, but rather it
suggests that additional steps be taken,
depending on the type of abnormality
identified. Denis Perez, MD, an OB-GYN
with Parrish Medical Group, says:
3 When dysplasia (abnormal cells that
may or may not become cancer) is present, the patient is usually asked to return
in a specified amount of time to repeat
the test to find out whether anything
has changed.
3 When results indicate that further
evaluation of the cervix is needed, a procedure called colposcopy is performed to
examine cells from the vagina and cervix
more closely. A biopsy may be taken.
3 Women who have cervical cancer will
often be treated with some type of surgery,
including cryosurgery (freezing the abnormal cells), laser surgery or conization, in
which a cone-shaped piece of tissue is
removed. Treatment may also include hysterectomy, chemotherapy or radiation.

Every woman should have a Pap test every year.

FALSE. Screening guidelines issued in 2012 call for healthy women
to have their first Pap test at age 21 and every three years until age 29;
from 30 to 65, women can be screened every five years with Pap and
HPV co-testing or every three years with the Pap test alone. Generally,
most women older than 65 no longer need the Pap test because the incidence of cervical cancer after that age is low. Testing does continue past
age 65 when certain risk factors, such as HIV, are present.

TRUE OR FALSE:

Women alone are responsible for remembering when to
schedule a Pap test.
FALSE. Ideally, this is a shared responsibility between a woman and
her doctor. Physicians generally will have a record of the appropriate
timing for the screening based on the recommended guidelines. Talk to
your doctor about what's right for you; some women continue to have
annual tests because of risk factors. ■

QUIZ

6 Things to Know
Take a quick quiz from the
American Cancer Society to
find out if you know the basics
of cervical cancer prevention:
cancer.org/cancer/cervicalcancer/cervical-cancer-quiz.
html.

FALL 2018

39


http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cervical-cancer/cervical-cancer-quiz.html http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cervical-cancer/cervical-cancer-quiz.html

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Vim & Vigor - Fall 2018 - Parrish Medical Center - Cover1
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