The Pap test is a screening test for premalignant and malignant cervical changes. This test is so simple, painless and fast and there is no reason to avoid it. The name was given to Papanicolau, an American physician of Greek descent who discovered this test method fifty years ago.
A positive finding is an indicator of the eventual problem. Pap test is not a diagnostic test. It is necessary to emphasize that it can not exclude the existence of cervical cancer in patients with cervical cancer symptoms. Otherwise, Pap test is performed in women who have no signs of cervical cancer (that is, in a healthy population). If a woman has symptoms or findings suggesting the possible presence of cervical cancer, a diagnostic test must be performed – to exclude or confirm a potential diagnostic dilemma. The diagnostic test most often involves the procedure of performing a biopsy.
Abnormal Pap Test is The Only Method in Cancer Diagnosis
In most cases, an abnormal Pap test indicates a diagnosis of minor cervical changes. A few can point to premalignant changes, but most of them are of minimal clinical significance. All changes must be monitored, diagnosed and treated. Given that sporadic can be found correct censorship changes, this is the significance of this test. Namely, the most significant number of cancers is visible on the screen, but there are also those that can not be seen – so the abnormal Pap test is the only method in diagnosis when it comes to such cases.
Pap test is recommended for all sexually active women. Screening intervals vary in different environments, but according to the latest recommendations, this interval is reduced from six months to three months, with a note – if the previous finding was normal.
How is This Test Conducted?
The Pap test is performed with a slight “scratching” of the surface of the cervix cells and their application onto the microscope plate, and then sending it to a pathological laboratory for further evaluation. There are two systems for classifying Pap tests. According to the older, the findings are presented in five classes, and it is replaced by the Bethesda classification. Upon receipt of the pathologist’s findings, the ordinating physician is obliged to explain to the patient in detail what is being done and to determine the further course and outcome of the final treatment.
It implies the taking of a sample of cells obtained from the outer surface of the cervix (cervix opening), as well as from the cervical channel, where the samples must be clearly marked and accompanied by adequate documentation. Otherwise, the cervix is covered with an epithelial layer, consisting of 12-24 rows of densely compacted cells. The epithelial layer relies on the basal membrane, below which is the tissue from which the cervix is built.
Interpretation of The PAP Test
*Founding is neat and useful, women with this result are advised to re-control for 3 years.
*With signs of inflammation and with its etiological cause, but without a change in sampled cells.
*Modified-pathological when the presence of abnormally altered cells in the tested sample has been demonstrated. This result does not mean that you have cervical cancer. It just says that there are altered cells, some of which may be pre-cancerous. It is sometimes desirable to repeat the Pap test.