Regular Pap smears detect cervical cancer in its early stages to prevent life-threatening complications. At Lake Havasu OB/GYN Care in Lake Havasu City, Arizona, board-certified doctor Kevin Hooker, MD, performs women’s wellness exams and routine Pap tests to check for cervical cancer and other gynecological conditions. Call to schedule a Pap smear today, or book an appointment online.
A Pap smear, also called a Pap test, is a gynecological test that checks for cervical cancer using cells scraped from the opening of your cervix. Your cervix is the lower part of your womb, or uterus, located at the top of your vagina.
In a lab, a medical staff examines these cervical cells with a microscope to look for abnormalities.
Because a Pap test detects cervical cancer, it can save your life. Finding cervical cancer in its early stage is crucial, as eliminating precancerous cervical cells prevents cancer over 95% of the time.
Dr. Hooker may also recommend you receive a human Papillomavirus (HPV) test. HPV is a sexually transmitted virus that causes cervical cancer, and HPV tests are usually done at the same time as Pap tests.
Your provider lets you know how often you’ll need a Pap smear based on your age and risk factors. He might suggest a Pap test every 3-5 years if you’re ages 21-65, or more frequent Pap smears if you have:
You and Dr. Hooker decide what’s best for you based on your health, medical history, and lifestyle. You won’t require a Pap smear if you’ve had a total hysterectomy, including the removal of your cervix.
Depending on your lifestyle, you might be able to stop Pap smears after age 65.
Dr. Hooker completes Pap smears as part of routine well women’s exams. He goes over your medical history, completes a physical examination, and performs a Pap test while you lie on a comfortable table with your feet in stirrups. He gently places a speculum into your vagina to hold it open, allowing him to see your cervix.
He then scrapes cells from your cervix and sends the sample to a lab for examination. If cervical cells appear precancerous, Dr. Hooker may recommend removing part of your cervix where the abnormal cells are located.
When you’re ready to schedule a Pap smear to check for early stages of cervical cancer, call Lake Havasu OB/GYN Care today or book an appointment online with Dr. Hooker.