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Doctor insights on: Can A Pap Miss Cancer

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Dr. Barry Rosen
4,351 Doctors shared insights

Cancer (Definition)

Cancer is a group of diseases that is characterized by uncontrolled cell growth leading to invasion of surrounding tissues that spread to other parts of the body. Cancer can begin anywhere in the body and is usually related to one or more genetic mutations that allow normal cells to become malignant by interfering with internal cellular control mechanisms, such as programmed cell death or by preventing ...Read more


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What cancers show up on a pap smear?

What cancers show up on a pap smear?

Quite a bit: The pap smear, which is a screening test only and not a diagnostic test, can show signs of cervical cancer, uterine cancer, fallopian tube cancer, and even in some cases, ovarian cancer. It can also show signs of cancers that have spread to these organs from other parts of the body (metastatic cancer). Very early dysplasias (pre-cancers) of the cervix are what it does best. ...Read more

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Endometrial cells on pap means cancer?

Endometrial cells on pap means cancer?

Generally no.: Endometrial cells can be 'normal' in a pap test depending upon the age of the patient and the time of the menstrual cycle in which the test was performed. If a pap is collected in a premenopausal woman within 10 days of the onset of bleeding / menses, then the endometrial cells are most likely part of uterine shedding. In postmenopausal women, a finding of endometrial cells needs explanation. ...Read more

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Do abnormal pap test results mean cancer?

Do abnormal pap test results mean cancer?

No: There are multiple grades and types of abnormalities detected on pap. You should discuss the results with your doctor. ...Read more

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If my pap smear states I have stage four cancer, what are the exact abbreviations that are used on the results form?

If my pap smear states I have stage four cancer, what are the exact abbreviations that are used on the results form?

Screening: Current terminology for pap smears most commonly include atyical squamous cells, lsil and hsil (low or high grade squamous intraepithelial lesions). A cancer diagnosis is based on a biopsy and cervical cancer staging is based on a surgical evaluation. The pap is screening only--it does not provide a definitive diagnosis. ...Read more

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I am 54 with atypical grandular on abnormal pap does this mean it could be cancer or ovanian cancer could you try to answer this scared.

I am 54 with atypical grandular on abnormal pap does this mean it could be cancer or ovanian cancer could you try to answer this scared.

Concerning: This is relatively common and while you are wise to be concerned, if there is no visible lesion this is probably going to be manageable. Your next step will probably involve getting tissue for diagnosis, followed perhaps by some curative therapy if indicated. I admire your proactive approach. Good luck. ...Read more

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I had a pap smear done about 2 months ago and it came back adnormal they told me to go back to get another one in 6 months could it be cancer?

I had a pap smear done about 2 months ago and it came back adnormal they told me to go back to get another one in 6 months could it be cancer?

Unlikely: Pap smear has various grades of abnormality from bad grade of abnormality with cancer cells to low grade abnormality of atypical cell most likely yours which need close observation and that will not not lead to cancer. (as in your case) follow your doctors advice, if you are not sure or uncertain take a second opinion to keep your mind at peace. Good luck. ...Read more

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Ascus on a pap. Could it be cancer?

Ascus on a pap. Could it be cancer?

Must watch closely: Atypical squamous cells of uncertain significance are a warning that you need to be followed a little more closely than other people for future cancers. The recommendations for your age and perhaps your hpv status are cook-book and one of the things that uncle sam has gotten right. Comply and it may save your life. Best wishes. ...Read more

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Have yrly paps. In 2008, had an ab, low grade pap. Since then, yearly pap, all normal, but this yr only did exam, no pap. Last pap last Jan. Cancer unlikely?

Have yrly paps. In 2008, had an ab, low grade pap. Since then, yearly pap, all normal, but this yr only did exam, no pap. Last pap last Jan. Cancer unlikely?

Lower frequency ok: If the PAP smear has remained normal for five years, it is okay to do the smear at a lower frequency, even every three years.
For good health - Have a diet rich in fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains, milk and milk products, nuts, beans, legumes, lentils and small amounts of lean meats. Avoid saturated fats. Drink enough water daily, so that your urine is mostly colorless. Exercise at least 150 minutes/week and increase the intensity of exercise gradually. Do not use tobacco, alcohol, weed or street drugs in any form.
Practice safe sex, if you have sex. ...Read more

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I had an abnormal pap smear low grade. Does this mean cancer?

I had an abnormal pap smear low grade. Does this mean cancer?

Not cancer: If your pap smear shows LSIL, which stands for low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion, most doctors will not do anything immediately. You will probably be asked to come back in six months for another pap smear to see if the lesions are still present. In many cases, the lesions disappear over time and there are no further problems. If you return for your second pap smear and the finding is still present, you will probably be advised to have a coloposcopy done. A coloposcopy is a procedure performed in a doctor's office and is typically the first step in diagnosing cervical cancer ...Read more

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How are you tested for cervical cancer? Is pap enough to diagnose?

How are you tested for cervical cancer? Is pap enough to diagnose?

Start with pap smear: Pap smear is a screening test for cervical cancer. If papsmear is abnormal further test like colposcopy with biopsy or endometrial sampling or other test would probaby be needed - depending on the papmsear/biopsy result - to establish a diagnosis. Discuss further with your gynecologist and have serial papsmear as recommended. ...Read more

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How likely is cervical cancer when you have an abnormal pap for the second time?

How likely is cervical cancer when you have an abnormal pap for the second time?

< 100%: But more than zero. Speculations and guesses at percent are time wasters. You need to have colposcopy by a gyn onc, biopsy and if positive options for conization or hysterectomy or radiotherapy if cancer. ...Read more

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What are the chances of developing advanced cervical cancer if last pap was normal and about a year ago?

What are the chances of developing advanced cervical cancer if last pap was normal and about a year ago?

Quite unlikely. ...: Not precise, but I would think the answer is something less than 2-3%. But the catch is if you had a "true" normal. Unfortunately, the Pap test, like any test, is not perfect. The chances of a Pap smear being reported as negative, when it is truly positive (a false neg), is probably around 25%, due to not retrieving proper cells or errors in lab handling. Then subsequent cancer chance higher. ...Read more

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I had squamous metaplasia in may 2016, I didn't go for pap yet, do u think it would have pprogressed into cancer?

I had squamous metaplasia in may 2016, I didn't go for pap yet, do u think it would have pprogressed into cancer?

Not likely at all: Squamous metaplasia is not a disease. It is usually a normal process. It is not considered a precursor to cervical dysplasia or to cancer. It does not "progress into cancer." Request a routine Pap test accompanied by an HPV screen to have peace of mind. ...Read more

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How fast can an abnormal pap transform into cervical cancer, how long does one typically have before this happens?

How fast can an abnormal pap transform into cervical cancer, how long does one typically have before this happens?

Depends-"abnormal": There is a wide range of abnormal pap smear results. Some tests come back showing you have a virus called hpv which is extremely common in sexually active women. Pap smears can also show that the cells of the cervix themselves are abnormal, showing pre-cancerous or cancerous cells. Since "abnormal" can mean so many things, the time to turn into cancer will vary. ...Read more

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If I've been diagnosed with all 14 of the bad strands of HPV, what are my chances of having cancer. It's been 15 years since last pap

Here are some...: Since life is a one-way street of accumulation, modification, and continuation, for your personal scenario, all you can and must do is to do PAP more diligently and vigilantly than the average women. So, ask your gyn-doc timely. Besides, practicing healthy lifestyle without overindulgence & obsession as described in http://formefirst. Com/eMagicPowerUHL. Html... ...Read more

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My pap smear showed scattered cells and intermediate and superficial cells. Everything else is normal no inflamation and no dyslapsia and no cancer.

Good: It is a good report, keep up regular gyn visits. Ask your doctor, for possible hpv vaccination if it is not too late, cancer of the cervix most of the time is related to hpv virus infection ...Read more

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24yo. Became sex. Active @ 22yrs-1partner. 1.5yrs ago had a pap, showed LSIL. Lost insur. So I didn't get another. Could I have cancer now? No cigs.

Doubtful...but: The cases of cervical cancer I've seen over the years have always been in women who had a bad pap but never came in for the recommended follow-up. So I always worry about women who disappear after a bad pap. Most states have a program that pays for the follow-up for women without insurance. However, the absolute risk of cervical cancer at age 24 after an LSIL pap is very low. Best wishes! ...Read more

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If pap test is negative, there is no vaginal cancer?

If pap test is negative, there is no vaginal cancer?

Cannot assume that: The pap smear looks at the cells from the cervix, checking for cervical cancer and for precancerous changes on the cervix. A pap smear does not check the vagina, but the doctor who is doing the pap smear does look at the vagina to check that it looks ok. ...Read more

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Pap test result came back category 3A is this cancer?

Pap test result came back category 3A is this cancer?

A Pap smear shows: The presence of abnormal cells. It identifies women who may have cancerous changes of the cervix. CIN (cervical intraepithelial neoplasia) would usually be reported on a Pap as Atypical Squamous Cells-H (high grade) and a colposcopy to perform a biopsy would usually be recommended. On a biopsy CINIII is severe dysplasia and considered the same as carcinoma in situ, but it is not invasive cancer. ...Read more

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If I had a pap smear a year ago could I have cervical cancer?

If I had a pap smear a year ago could I have cervical cancer?

Not likely: If the pap was negative, it is unlikely that you would develop cancer within the year. The recommendations of a pap every year are based on the odds of changes occurring over that time frame. ...Read more

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Is there a male equivalent of a pap smear for testicular cancer?

Is there a male equivalent of a pap smear for testicular cancer?

NO: There is none as you cannot reach the testicular tissue. ...Read more

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If your pap smear comes back abnormal, will you get cervical cancer?

Not necessarily: Pap test is a screening test. If it is abnormal it does not mean cancer in every case. You need to go back and see your gynecologist. He/she can explain the cause. There are many precancerous conditions which can go away with time. Most such changes resolve on their own and rarely are indicative of cancer development over a period of many years. ...Read more

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Have you ever had an abnormal pap smear that was not cancer or precancer?

Have you ever had an abnormal pap smear that was not cancer or precancer?

There are ASCUS.: There are such smear results that are ascus (atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance) which is to say that they do not look normal, but they can't be called cancer or precancer either. Infection and inflammation are common sources. The pap test is repeated in 12 months or 6-12 months for those younger and older than 20 respectively. A reflex hpv-dna test can be done in adults. ...Read more

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How long does cervical cancer take to develop? Last pap smear 3 years ago

How long does cervical cancer take to develop? Last pap smear 3 years ago

It varies: The recommendations is to do an annual pap smear as it helps in early diagnosis and possible curative intervention if the cervical cancer is detected early. Do not wait longer. Prevention and early intervention in this disease can make a big difference in this disease outcomes. ...Read more

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How fast does cervical cancer grow, in case on pap smears fails to catch it?

How fast does cervical cancer grow, in case on pap smears fails to catch it?

It varies.: Women should start at age 20 or at start of sexual activity to get annual pap smear screening. If there is 2 consecutive negative smears, they can be done every 3 years. If a pap is negative, and cancer develops, other symptoms, like abnormal bleeding, or postcoital spotting, etc. Will be seen. Then colposcopy is done with 3% acetic acid, that shows abnormal areas as white patches. ...Read more

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When someone gets tested for cervical cancer. Is pap a screen or diagnostic test?

When someone gets tested for cervical cancer. Is pap a screen or diagnostic test?

Screening test: Pap smear is a screening test for cervical cancer. If your papmsear is abnormal then further evaluation would be needed to establish a diagnosis. ...Read more

Dr. Ed Friedlander
941 Doctors shared insights

Pap Smear (Definition)

A pap smear (cervical smear) is a text looking at the cells from the canal and outside of the cervix to see if any abnormalities (especially ...Read more