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Do you dream about a happily ever after?

When you and your prince charming are enjoying a peaceful afternoon together chatting on your stoep and dreaming of a bright future with the perfect two-story house and three beautiful children, your health is probably the last thing on your mind!

What’s the point of dreaming about and planning your future if you are not taking the necessary precautions to ensure that everything goes according to plan?

In South Africa approximately 8 women die every day of cervical cancer.¹

What are you waiting for? Ask your doctor about the importance of scheduling a pap smear as soon as possible. Taking proactive steps against cancer is the best possible investment that you can make towards your future.

What is a Pap Test?
The papanicolou test or “Pap smear” is an examination of the cells from a woman’s cervix to see if she has cancer of the cervix, signs of a virus infection, or cell changes that put her at risk for developing cervical cancer later.

Why should I have a pap test?
A pap test could save your life. It can identify pre-cancerous cellular changes that could develop into invasive cervical cancer. If caught early, treatment for cervical cancer can be easier and the chances of curing it are greater. It is estimated that about half of the women diagnosed with cervical cancer have not had routine pap tests.

I have heard that there is now a Vaccine for HPV. Do I still need to have regular Cervical Screenings?
Yes, it is recommended that all women by the age of 21 or anyone who has been sexually active for at least three years have a pap test every one to three years. Cervical cancer screening is still required for those women who have been vaccinated for HPV because the vaccine does not provide cover to all HPV sub-types.

What will my doctor do with a positive pap test result?
Depending on the specific results of your Pap test, your medical history and your physician’s practice partners, your physician may:

Perform additional tests,
Request you to return for another Pap test or
Perform a colpscopy – a procedure done in an office or clinic with an instrument called a colposcope that acts like a microscope, allowing your healthcare provider to closely see the vagina and the cervix. Your healthcare provider may take a small amount of tissue from the cervix, called a biopsy, to examine for any abnormal cells.

What are the signs of cervical cancer?
It is recommended that you report any of these signs to your healthcare provider immediately:

Bleeding between your menstrual cycle
Any unusual vaginal discharge or pain
Bleeding after intercourse
Bleeding after menopause

Next time you go for your Pap test, Ask your doctor about a Liquid-based Pap test!

1.Ferlay J, Bray F, Pisani P, Parkin DM.GLOBOCAN 2008: Cancer Incidence,Mortality, and PrevalenceWorldwide. IARC CancerBase No. 5. version 2.0. 2008. Lyon. IARCPress. Link: Accessed 2 July 2010.

Patient Resources
BD diagnostics – TriPath.
National Cervical Cancer Coalition.
National cancer institute
American Cancer Society