Through routine screening, early detection, and vaccination against the HPV virus, cervical cancer is one of the most preventable cancers in Women. Unfortunately, statistics show in the UAE that is the 4th most common cancer for women, and a top 5 leading cause of death.
Also known as a pap test, a Pap smear is a screening procedure for cervical cancer which is typically used to test for the presence of precancerous or cancerous cells on the patient’s cervix (the opening of the uterus).
During the procedure, the cervix’s cells are softly scraped away and checked for abnormal growth. Although the procedure may cause mild discomfort, it typically doesn’t cause pain.
Age and risk are the only variables that determine how frequently one requires a Pap smear:
Note: These recommendations are only applicable to women with a cervix. Those who have undergone hysterectomy procedures that include cervix removal and have no prior history of cervical cancer should not be screened.
Before undergoing a pap test, there are guidelines that should be followed:
During the procedure, which does not require any form of anesthesia, the patient will lie on her back on an examination table with her legs spread. The feet will rest in supports called stirrups. Then, the doctor will slowly insert a speculum into the vagina. The speculum is a device that keeps the vaginal walls open and provides access to the cervix. A small sample of cells from the patient’s cervix is scrapped by the doctor.
The following are some of the ways the doctor can extract the sample:
There are only two outcomes of a Pap smear: normal or abnormal.
Normal Pap smear
If the results test normal, it means that no abnormal cells were found. For normal results, the patient might not need a pap smear for another 3 years.
Abnormal pap smear
It does not however indicate that an individual has cancer if the results are abnormal. It simply implies that the cervix has aberrant cells, some of which may be precancerous. Various levels of aberrant cells include:
The Pap test is performed on the cervix in order to detect cancerous cells or cells that potentially may become cancerous in the future.
Your pap smear test typically takes around 10-15 minutes
At Clemenceau Medical Center Hospital Dubai your pap smear plus consultation with a Board Certified Obgyn or Family Medicine Doctors costs only AED 300. At CMC Dubai we are committed to promoting early detection and the fight against cancer.
Our doctor will insert an instrument called a speculum into the vagina in order to view the cervix. Following this they will use a tiny brush or spatula to take a sample of cells from the cervix. These will be sent for examination at our laboratory.
Some women may experience slight discomfort, but it should not be painful. In some instances you may experience some light bleeding afterward. For the majority of women there isn't any bleeding.
It can take from a few days to a week on average.
If an abnormal test result is discovered, you maybe recommended to conduct an additional detailed examination such as a colposcopy to determine the nature of the abnormal cells.
In general it's recommended to have a pap smear test once a year. But based on your medical history, age, and other risk factors, this time frame maybe more or less frequent.