9 doctors weighed in:

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

9 doctors weighed in
Dr. Joseph Woods
Pathology
2 doctors agree

In brief: 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.

In brief: 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.
Dr. Joseph Woods
Dr. Joseph Woods
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Dr. Carolyn Quist
Gynecology
2 doctors agree

In brief: Slow

In general it takes 10-12 years for cervical cancer to grow.
Sometimes pap smears to miss precancerous changes and certain hpv viruses are fairly aggressive that is why it is recommended to go no longer than 3 years apart on pap smears.

In brief: Slow

In general it takes 10-12 years for cervical cancer to grow.
Sometimes pap smears to miss precancerous changes and certain hpv viruses are fairly aggressive that is why it is recommended to go no longer than 3 years apart on pap smears.
Dr. Carolyn Quist
Dr. Carolyn Quist
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Dr. Megan Bird
Obstetrics & Gynecology
2 doctors agree

In brief: Depends

Usually really slowly.
On average, the time to get from severe dysplasia to cancer is 10 years. However, in some women it goes faster.

In brief: Depends

Usually really slowly.
On average, the time to get from severe dysplasia to cancer is 10 years. However, in some women it goes faster.
Dr. Megan Bird
Dr. Megan Bird
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Dr. Steven Ginsberg
Internal Medicine - Hematology & Oncology
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Difficult question

Pap is the best test to detect cervical cancer.
Different cancers grow at different rates. There is no clear answer to your question. However, you should be comforted with a normal pap smear. They are generally recommended yearly, perhaps more often if the test is not normal.

In brief: Difficult question

Pap is the best test to detect cervical cancer.
Different cancers grow at different rates. There is no clear answer to your question. However, you should be comforted with a normal pap smear. They are generally recommended yearly, perhaps more often if the test is not normal.
Dr. Steven Ginsberg
Dr. Steven Ginsberg
Thank
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