Grinnell Regional Medical Center Facebook Grinnell Regional Medical Center Twitter Grinnell Regional Medical Center Instagram Grinnell Regional Medical Center Pinterest Print Friendly and PDF

Women: A Simple Test Can Save Your Life

Jan 26, 2017, 12:14 PM

Young womenIf you were at risk for cancer, wouldn’t you want to know? Luckily, there are many options that exist today to test for cancers. One that is available for women, which usually only takes a few minutes, is the Pap smear or Pap test. The test can find cervical cancer, as well as detect certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV). Although it is not meant to look for HPV, it can find changes in cells that occur as a result of the virus.

Typically, women start getting a Pap test at age 21, then every three years after that. Those around 65 who have had regular testing can talk with their doctors about stopping the procedure if it has come back negative each time. A woman that has certain risk factors for cervical cancer may have to do the Pap test more often than every three years. These can include: The diagnosis of cervical cancer or having precancerous cells, being infected with HIV, or having a weakened immune system due to factors such as chemotherapy or organ transplant. For some, the test may be uncomfortable, but it can help you have peace of mind.

Luckily, the Pap test is accurate in finding cancerous cells. This can help with early detection of cervical cancer and preventing it from progressing. This means women’s lives can be saved by this simple test. Isn’t that worth taking a few minutes of your time?

For more information visit