Welcome to Check Up 13, in partnering with St. Vincent
WTHR, Channel 13, and Anne Marie Tiernon, co-anchor and health reporter, have partnered with St. Vincent, a member of Ascension, the nation's largest Catholic and not-for-profit health system, on an initiative called Check Up 13. The goal of the program is to educate and encourage Indiana residents to take a proactive role in their own health. Check Up 13 includes news stories that will air on the 13th of every month during the Health Beat segment. The program will highlight St. Vincent medical staff and focus on the health topic screening, event or promotion for that month.
A Guide to Cervical Cancer Screening
Who should have a Pap test and how often? Thanks to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), we have new guidelines for cervical cancer screening.
Before the most recent iteration of these guidelines, a Pap test was typically part of a woman’s annual exam, which also includes a breast and pelvic exam—two important screenings that you still need, even though you probably do not need an annual Pap test.
The best way to find out how often you should be having this important cervical cancer screening is to talk to your healthcare provider.
In the meantime, here is a look at the basics of the guidelines:
As always, if you are unsure of whether you should continue to be screened, consult your healthcare provider.
What is a Pap test?
A Pap test (sometimes called a Pap smear) is a way to examine cells collected from the cervix, or the opening of the womb (located at the top of the vagina), for the presence of:
Why is a Pap test recommended?
A Pap test, along with a pelvic exam, is an important part of a woman's routine health care because it may detect abnormalities that can lead to invasive cancer. Most cancers of the cervix can be detected early if women have Pap tests and pelvic examinations regularly. As with many types of cancer, cancer of the cervix is more likely to be successfully treated if it is detected early.
The Pap test is useful for detecting not only cancerous cells, but also other cervical and vaginal abnormalities including dysplasia (precancerous cells) and inflammation. Inflammation may be caused by: