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The Importance of Pelvic Exams and Pap Tests
Pelvic exams and Pap test screenings can help detect pre-cancerous conditions in the early stages even before symptoms appear.
Kelsey-Seybold OB/GYN Jennifer Breazeale, MD, FACOG, says cervical cancer has a greater chance of being cured when detected in the early stages.
“A Pap test takes only a few minutes to perform and is usually done in a doctor’s office as part of a well-woman exam,” she says. “A small sample of cells is gently brushed from the cervix and sent to a lab for examination. Your doctor can talk with you about concerns you may have regarding the exam and what the results mean.”
Dr. Breazeale says that pelvic exams can also help detect infections, ovarian tumors, and uterine fibroids. Testing frequency may vary based on a woman’s medical and family history, which may influence her risks for developing cervical or vaginal cancer.
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