Your Pap smear is a normal part of your gynecologic exam and you may not give it much thought until you get the call that you have an abnormal Pap smear. Steven R. Poliakoff, MD, with offices in South Miami and Miami Beach, Florida, specializes in gynecologic cancer and can provide the most effective treatment if your Pap smear is abnormal. For expert gynecologic care, call the office today or request an appointment online.
A Pap smear is a cervical cancer screening tool. You should start getting regular Pap smears at age 21. During your Pap test, Dr. Poliakoff gently swabs cells from your cervix and has them analyzed in a lab.
How often you need a repeat Pap smear depends on your family history, but most women only need Pap testing every three years. Dr. Poliakoff is an expert in gynecologic cancer assessment and treatment, and performs a cancer risk assessment when you come in for care so he knows how best to direct your health screenings.
An abnormal Pap smear may not mean you have cervical cancer, but just that atypical cells were found. To further assess cervical health, additional testing is necessary.
Common types of abnormal cells found during a Pap smear include:
If your test indicates your cells are ASCUS, it means that the cells are atypical, but may not be cancerous.
If squamous intraepithelial cells are found, then you may have precancerous cells. The size and shape of the cell may indicate how best to treat the abnormal cells.
If Dr. Poliakoff indicates that your Pap smear shows squamous cell cancer, then it’s very likely that your abnormal Pap smear indicates that your cells are cancerous.
An abnormal Pap smear may also find abnormal glandular cells. These cells produce mucus at the opening of your cervix, and abnormalities may not indicate cancer, but further testing is usually necessary.
If your Pap smear results are abnormal, Dr. Poliakoff may recommend a colposcopy to take a better look at your cervix. During this in-office procedure, he uses a special magnifying instrument to examine your cervical tissue. He may also perform a biopsy during your colposcopy.
If precancerous lesions are found, Dr. Poliakoff offers laser surgery to remove the lesions.
An abnormal Pap smear can make you feel nervous, but you’re in the most capable hands with Dr. Poliakoff. For gynecologic care and treatment from an expert in the field, call the office today or request an appointment online.