• How many pap smears will be done before official diagnosis?

    Asked by HardyGirl on Monday, May 6, 2013

    How many pap smears will be done before official diagnosis?

    5 Answers from the Community

    5 answers
    • carm's Avatar

      What a great question!! Usually the pap is repeated until a diagnosis can be determined. If the cytologist reads it as ASCUS, then they cannot determine and further testing like an HPV test and perhaps a colposcopy to get a tissue sample for histology might be suggested, but a pap will most likely be repeated in 4 to 6 months until the cytology defines the suspicious atypical cell. I hope this helps answer your question and thank you for asking it, Carm RN.

      over 4 years ago
    • BuckeyeShelby's Avatar

      For endometrial, I didn't have a pap smear. I had an endometrial biopsy. I actually knew I had adenocarcinoma as nodules were found in a hernial sac during hernia surgery, but they didn't know what the origin point was. The endometrial biopsy pinpointed the origins.

      over 4 years ago
    • derbygirl's Avatar

      Hi HardyGirl. The doctor has many options to help make a diagnosis. He can and probably will do a repeat pap in 3-6 months. If the answer is still unclear, he may then take the step to do either an endometrial biopsy or a colposcopy. I know that most patients want the doctor to have the answer right away but it takes time. If you have concerns or fears then talk to your doctor. That is what he's there for so go to him and don't be afraid to tell him how you feel. The doctor/patient relationship is a partnership and the only way a doctor can give you the very best care is for you to be open with him about your concerns and fears. I wish you the best. Take care

      over 4 years ago
    • christinematth's Avatar

      Hi Hardygirl. I am a newly graduated doctor from medical school, and I agree with the other answers, although it is a bit of a complicated answer. The truth is that there is a well developed and extensive algorithm for the next step, since this screening test has been studied so much. It depends on whether you also had an hpv test during the Pap smear and how abnormal your Pap smear. Most of the time a positive test leads to a colposcopy, where they view your cervix under a microscope and take a biopsy if they see anything unusual. It is also common to have more frequent Pap smears, like the above mentioned, that need to be regular for a couple of times before you go back to the standard screening schedule.

      It can be very scary when you get an "abnormal" Pap smear, but hopefully your doctor can convey to you that this is just a screening exam that is not perfect, but just helps doctors look further into things, which is why they repeat the exam and do more specific exams (colposcopy). In case you don't know, ascus stands for atypical cells of undetermined significance- NOT cancer. That is why Pap smears are so awesome- they are easy and help you find abnormalities before they turn into cancer. Same with mammogram- it is just the first step in a long algorithm of work up so it is best to be patient and not overly anxious. I hope this as helped...I can go over the algorithm but you can google it and I'm sure your doctor has it well memorized!

      over 4 years ago
    • Judit's Avatar

      My diagnosis wasn't made based on a Pap smear. There was little doubt once the endometrial bx was done.

      over 4 years ago

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