Pap Smear Screening

Pap Smear Screening


A Pap smear or Pap test is a screening tool used to evaluate the cervix for cervical cancer and abnormal, pre-cancerous cells referred to as cervical dysplasia. It is important to remember that a pap smear is only a screening tool, and an abnormal Pap smear usually requires more extensive evaluation with a colposcopy procedure for definitive diagnosis of dysplasia or cervical cancer.

The pathology results from the colposcopy will determine if further follow-up is needed, including more frequent pap smears (usually at 6-month intervals) or an excisional procedure, like a LEEP or cold knife conization (CKC).

You should talk to your OB/GYN about how often you should get screened for cervical cancer with a Pap smear. They will make their recommendation based on your age and any factors that may increase your risk of developing cancer.

The guidelines for Pap smear screening for cervical cancer from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) are as follows: 

  • Pap smear screening should begin at age 21.
  • Women who are 30 years of age or older AND have no recent history of moderate or severe cervical dysplasia are candidates for Pap smear plus co-screen for high-risk HPV (human papillomavirus). In this low-risk population, if the pap smear is normal and HPV is negative, Pap screening may be performed every 3 years. However, every woman still needs an annual gynecology exam to evaluate the vagina, cervix, uterus, ovaries, and pelvis.
  • Women who have no prior history of cervical dysplasia and have had a hysterectomy with removal of the cervix, do not need to continue Pap screening. However, every woman, even if her uterus and cervix have been removed, still needs an annual gynecology exam to evaluate the vagina, ovaries, and pelvis.

At Kamm McKenzie, we follow the ACOG guidelines and offer Pap smear screenings as part of our Well-Woman Exams [link to Well-Woman Exam page] when you’re due for one. To make an appointment for a screening or another concern, call our Raleigh, NC office at (919) 781-6200.

Computer Drive Office
3805 Computer Drive
Raleigh, NC 27609

Durant Medical Center
10880 Durant Road, Suite 224
Raleigh, NC 27614

Office Hours
Monday-Wednesday 8:00 to 5:00
Thursday 8:30 to 5:00
Friday 8:00 to 4:00

Phone: 919-781-6200
Fax: 919-783-1819

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