Pap Smear Frequency is Not as Important as the Fact they Should Be Regular

Cervical cancer prevention has evolved significantly in the past few years.

Because we understand the nature of the biology of how cancer develops and how long that sequence is, we have been able to determine that for many women pap smears do not need to be done yearly.

Gynecologists have also brought to their patients a better pap smear than existed years ago, so many fewer cases of early cancer are ever missed.

Women do need regular pap smears.

Women who have been vaccinated against the HPV virus are much less likely to get cervical cancer, but still can get certain types of cancer and cannot ignore all pap smear screening.

Exactly when those pap smears should be performed: yearly, every two or three years, even as some suggest: every 5 years, is still a hotly debated topic among experts.

Listen to your physician, and screen regularly, even if the frequency of screening is stretched out over what you used to have recommended to you.

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Suzanne Trupin, MD, Board Certified Obstetrician and Gynecologist and owner of Women's Health Practice, Hada Cosmetic Medicine, and Hatha Yoga and Fitness

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