Abnormal Pap Smear Treatment in Plantation, Florida

A positive Pap smear result is concerning, but it is not always indicative of cancer. Broward Complete OB/GYN Wellness Center’s medical staff in Plantation, Florida, can help you interpret your Pap test findings and determine the next best course of action.

Time is of the essence, so call soon to schedule an appointment.

What Is a Pap Smear?

A Pap smear is a test used to analyze cells from the cervix, the portion of the uterus that connects to the vaginal opening. Finding abnormal cells before they become cancerous significantly boosts your odds of avoiding or surviving cervical cancer, making Pap exams a vital tool in cancer prevention.

Those who catch cervical cancer cells in their infancy have a five-year survival rate of over 90%; if caught before the cells spread to nearby tissues, that rate rises to nearly 100%.

The Meaning of Abnormal Pap Smear

The presence of abnormal cervical cells is not always indicative of malignancy. Slightly aberrant squamous cells may suggest a cervical issue but do not always portend the development of cancer. To investigate further, we may undertake a loop electrosurgical excision treatment (LEEP).

A LEEP is a minimally invasive electrosurgical procedure in which a loop of thin wire is used to remove a small amount of cervical tissue. A local anesthetic is all that’s needed for this short office treatment.

Repeated LEEP is often the best option for patients whose tests reveal the presence of potentially precancerous cells, such as a squamous intraepithelial lesion or atypical glandular cells.

What Can Cause an Abnormal Pap Smear?

The cause of an abnormal Pap smear is not necessarily cancer. The Pap test results may come back abnormal in the following cases, too:

  • The presence of human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Herpes, trichomoniasis, and other forms of sexually transmitted infections
  • Pelvic pain and inflammation
  • Bacterial or yeast infection
  • Changes in cell structure that are typical of aging
  • Cervical dysplasia (a precancerous condition) that often resolves itself

You can improve the reliability of your Pap test results by avoiding the following in the two days leading up to the exam:

  • Engaging in sexual activity
  • Using tampons
  • Applying a topical contraceptive on the genital area

False-Negative Pap Test

There is no way to confirm a false-negative result without conducting additional tests. A false-negative result is never the consequence of an oversight in the testing process. Possible causes include:

  • Insufficient cell collection during the Pap smear
  • A low concentration of abnormal cells
  • The presence of cells that obscure the view of abnormal cells

However, because cervical cancer progresses slowly, the next Pap smear will likely discover the abnormalities even if you get a false-negative result.

Call Broward Complete OB/GYN Wellness Center to schedule your next Pap smear and book an appointment today.

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