Medical Centre
PAP Smear
Update time£ºJun / 3 / 2013     Hits£º35849

PAP Smear

Pap smears are available and the test is covered under Medicare.

The test can be done in the doctor¡¯s office in a few minutes as part of a pelvic examination. You may feel uncomfortable for a few moments during the test, but it should cause no pain  and no anaesthetic is required. You should have the results in one or 2 weeks.

Who is at risk?
All women with a cervix who have ever had sex at some time in their life are at risk of cervical cancer. About half the new cases of cervical cancer diagnosed each year are in women over 50 years of age. More women over 50 years of age die from cervical cancer because their cancer is diagnosed later when treatment is more difficult.

How often should I have a Pap smear?
All women over 18 who have ever had sex are advised to have a Pap smear every two years, even if they no longer have sex. As the most common type of cervical cancer usually takes up to 10 years to develop, there is little advantage in having a Pap smear more frequently than every two years. Your general practitioner may recommend more frequent Pap smears if a previous smear showed significant cell changes or you experience problems, such as bleeding or pain after sex.

I¡¯ve been through menopause; do I still need to have a Pap smear?
Yes, the risk of getting cervical cancer is the same even after menopause so it is important to keep having Pap smears every two years, even after menopause.

When should I stop having Pap smears?
If you are 70 years or over and have had two normal Pap smears in the last five years, you do not have to keep having Pap smears, unless you wish to do so. Women who are over 70 years who have never had a Pap smear, or those who request
a Pap smear, can make an appointment to be screened.

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