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Thursday, April 25, 2013

New, Newer, and Newest Pap Smear Problem Guidelines


Are you worried about your pap smear result? If so, gynos might be willing to bet that you are most worried about the uncertainty of what is the correct plan for your pap today. It is true that many new, newer, and now even the newest pap testing and treating guidelines have changed. If you have changed gynos, you may even find yourself getting different advice regarding a particular result. Be aware, that there are many changes and we are going to talk about a few.  The basic answer is that fewer women are going to colposcopy and biopsy, and fewer women after biopsy are going to definitive treatment. The issue is whether the abnormal test is actually cancer, or has a risk of cancer development quickly. If not the experts are urging you and your gyno to delay treatment. Experts have determined that even fairly high grade cervical disease, called CIN 2, or moderate dysplasia has a very high natural regression rate; and though there is no real cure for HPV, these pap problems driven by HPV viruses are known to be able to be fought off by your immune system and resolve. It’s important to know what the experts are recommending for pap smear testing, and abnormal pap smear management as this has allowed us to keep squamous cell cancers of the cervix at a low rate, and be both safer and more cost effective for women. But there are other types of cancers, ones that are glandular of the inner cervix, or endometrial of the inner uterus that can show up as a mildly abnormal pap and need more aggressive management. So it’s important to know what experts say about pap smears as this represents a reasonable course of action for most women--but it’s (potentially) more important to know what your own gyno would do for you. It important to know that there are some women who have very serious conditions even when the pap test is normal or slightly abnormal. These are the type of cases physician speak about to each other, and they are real, so it’s always important to gab with your gyno.

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