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Cervical Cancer Screenings at VCC

Early detection of cancer through screening reduces risk of death from cancer, including cervical, breast and colon. At VCC, we screen for these diseases to ensure a long, healthy life. Screening prevents cancer through the detection and removal of precancerous growths, detecting cancer at an early stage, when treatment can be successful.

Detect cervical cancer with the right test at the right time
  • Why test?
    • This screening test is used to detect cervical cancer, which can be prevented by getting a regular Pap.
    • ALL women are at risk for cervical cancer—whether sexually active or not. It occurs most often in women over the age of 30.
    • Each year, approximately 12,000 women in the United States get cervical cancer.
    • If caught and treated early, cervical cancer is not life threatening.
  • When should I get this test?
    • It is recommended that women between the ages of 21 and 65 get a regular Pap.
    • For women ages 30 and older, it is recommended they also get screened for HPV.
  • How do I prepare for the test?
    • No preparation is needed.
    • The Pap smear test can be done at anytime, even while on your menstrual period.
    • A pap exam is recommended even if you have never had sex.
  • How often should I get this test?
    • Based on your age and health history, your doctor may recommend cervical cancer screening every 3 to 5 years. But, an annual visit with your doctor is recommended once a year.
  • What test do I need to screen for Cervical Cancer?
    • The test is called a Pap smear and it needs a sample of the cells in the cervix. The cervix is at the end of the uterus and is the part that opens when a woman has a baby. This is also the area where cancer cells can grow. The sample is obtained by using a soft brush and swirling it around the cervix. It is then sent to the lab to look for two things where they will look at the cells closely and see if there are small/tiny changes. The test can also see the HPV virus which can cause those cells to change.

Diagram of Cervix

  • What happens after the test?
    • You may receive the result within two weeks.
    • If the result is abnormal, further testing will be needed and your doctor will talk to you about the next steps.

Still have questions or want to know more? Come in to see your Primary Care Provider at your preferred VCC location.

Click here for more information about Cervical Cancer.

Watch our clinician, Dr. Sefa, talk about what to expect from a Cervical Cancer screening below: