Why Are Cervical Cancer Screenings Important?

Has your family physician in Atlanta advised you to schedule a cervical cancer screening? If so, then you may have questions about the need for this procedure. Cervical cancer is already invasive by the time a woman experiences any symptoms, such as heavy or prolonged periods, pain during sex, and abnormal bleeding between periods, during menopause, or after sex. It’s for this reason that it’s sometimes referred to as a “silent killer” and why regular screenings are so important.

The 2 primary methods of screening for cervical cancer include liquid-based cytology (LBC) and the Papanicolaou (Pap) test, also known as a cervical smear or Pap smear. During an LBC screening, the doctor scrapes the cervix with a small brush, and the collected cells are then analyzed for abnormalities in a lab. Pap smears involve scraping the outer opening of the cervix to collect cells which are analyzed for abnormalities under a microscope. Most women between ages 21 and 65 are advised to undergo a cervical cancer screening once every 3 years. If you are overdue for a cervical cancer screening, then consider contacting your local clinic to make an appointment and help protect your health.

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