Cervical cancer is one of the biggest preventable threats to your health. Although it can be a scary diagnosis, fortunately, you can do a lot to minimize your risks of developing it in the first place. The biggest thing you can do is to get a Pap smear, which can detect cervical changes early. Catching cervical changes early is proven to improve outcomes by a great deal.
The Pap smear is one of the most significant advances in women’s health. In recognition of Cervical Health Awareness Month in January, Dr. Alan Patterson explains more about the many benefits of getting a Pap smear. In fact, it could save your life.
If you’ve never had a Pap smear before, you may be wondering what the experience is like. Or even if you’ve had one before, you may not have understood what was happening. Don’t worry; that’s a pretty common experience.
When you get a Pap smear, you will first undress from the waist down. You’ll be given a sheet to drape over yourself for privacy. You will then put your feet into stirrups, which are attached to the exam table.
Dr. Patterson will take a cytobrush and collect cells from around your cervix, which he will then send off for testing. You may feel a bit of discomfort during the cervix swab but it should quickly pass. We’ll notify you about the results.
A Pap smear can detect whether or not you have changes to your cervix that may indicate cancer. But it can detect other things as well. Among the things a Pap smear checks for include the following:
If it turns out that you have either precancerous cells in your cervix or cervical cancer, we can treat you. Early detection can save your life, so take it seriously. We certainly do.
Fortunately, a Pap smear doesn’t require much special advance preparation. However, you should still observe the following practices:
That’s it. You may want to take ibuprofen before your appointment if you already know that it will feel painful to you, but most women don’t need it.
If you’re due for a Pap smear, know that Dr. Patterson does everything possible to make it comfortable for you. Dr. Patterson has the experience, expertise and technique of doing very gentle pelvic exams and often gets referrals because of his technique developed from years of experience that younger doctors do not possess! He also has many different sizes of speculums to accommodate everyone. Don’t put off getting the test because it could literally save your life. Contact Dr. Alan Patterson or request an appointment online in Coral Springs, FL.