Abnormal Pap

A pap test is a form of screening test and not a diagnostic test. Pap testing does not provide a means of determining if you have cervical cancer.

More testing may be necessary

More testing may be necessary in the event of abnormal Pap test results in order to assess if cancer or pre-cancers are actually present. Typically, the tests that are utilized include a colposcopy – with or without a biopsy – endocervical sampling and in some cases LEEP procedures.

Abnormal Pap


This is a way of examining the cervix with the use of specialized magnification device known as a colposcope. The instrument shines a beam of light onto the cervix and vagina. A colposcope is able to enlarge the standard view by 2 to 60 times, enabling the physician to identify problems that are not visible to the eye alone.

Cervix Screenings

The cervix is the narrow, lower end of the uterus. Cells of the cervix grow continuously, similar to skin cells. The cells on the bottom layer gradually move up to the surface, where they then shed. If this process alters in any way, the cells can become abnormal. In some cases, these changes will go away all on their own. But if they do not, they could get worse and eventually result in cervical cancer. Generally, a pap test can detect changes in cells of the cervix that might lead to problems. As a part of their regular care, a Pap test is often advised according to national guidelines or as the symptoms warrant. A yearly wellness examination is recommended, too.

Besides identifying the presence of cancerous cells in the cervix, Pap testing also can detect precancer cells that could change and become cancerous. It is possible to treat precancerous cells and stop the changes that can eventually lead to cancer.

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