Going for a Pap smear may be a bit of a nuisance and disrupt your busy day, but it’s a small price to pay for the benefits of screening for cervical cancer. Rupinder Chawla, MD, of Altus Medical Care in Trenton, New Jersey, is an experienced internist who understands how her patients feel about having their Pap smear and makes the process as comfortable and convenient as possible. Schedule your routine Pap smear or a consultation with Dr. Chawla by calling Altus Medical Care today, or use the online booking tool.
A Pap smear is a routine screening test that checks for signs of cervical cancer. Dr. Chawla takes a sample of cells from your cervix, which she sends to the onsite laboratory at Altus Medical Care for analysis. When the results come back, Dr. Chawla can advise you of any changes in the cells and arrange for you to come back in for further tests.
There are other reasons for your cervical cells to undergo changes that aren’t related to cancer, so having a positive test doesn’t necessarily mean you have cervical cancer. It’s important to have a Pap smear regularly though, to make sure that if you do have signs of cancer, you can receive treatment right away.
A Pap smear is a straightforward procedure that only takes around 10-20 minutes. You lay on an examination table in Dr. Chawla’s office on your back with your knees bent, then drop your legs to either side when you’re ready.
Dr. Chawla uses a special instrument called a speculum to open your vagina, allowing her to see your cervix. She uses a lubricating gel to help ease the speculum in, then passes a swab into your vagina and collects some cells from the cervix. Some women find the feeling of having the speculum inside them is uncomfortable, but Dr. Chawla is always very careful and gentle.
Dr. Chawla’s team can process your Pap smear at Altus Medical Care’s onsite lab, so you won’t have to wait long to hear the results. If your results are negative, then all is well and you don’t need to take any further action. You’ll just need to attend your next routine Pap smear appointment in three years.
A positive result means that there are some cell changes, but they could be due to minor conditions, such as cervical inflammation or dysplasia. Very often these minor problems disappear spontaneously, so in many cases, women who receive positive Pap smear results just have to take another test in a few months.
If Dr. Chawla sees anything of concern in your Pap smear results, she requests further tests to find out exactly what’s causing the cell changes. Again, this doesn’t mean you have cancer, as there could be another reason for the changes, but it’s always best to be careful and undergo any tests Dr. Chawla recommends.
Having to go for a Pap smear isn’t something you’re likely to be looking forward to, but under Dr. Chawla’s care, it’s a quick and painless procedure. Don’t put off having a Pap smear – call Altus Medical Care today to schedule your test, or book an appointment online.