3 doctors weighed in:

What diseases can a pap smear detect? I've heard that a pap can be used as a means for early detection of cervical cancer. Are there any other diseases that it can find?

3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Marina Landa
Pathology
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Yes

Pap smear can defind cervical cancer including squamous carcinoma and adenocarcinoma, and cell changes which could be precancer changes ( follow up is important).
Pap smear can reveal trichomonas vaginalis, herpes virus changes, fungal organisms-candida, can reveal normal and atypical endometrial cells. Metastasis to the cervix could be seen on pap.

In brief: Yes

Pap smear can defind cervical cancer including squamous carcinoma and adenocarcinoma, and cell changes which could be precancer changes ( follow up is important).
Pap smear can reveal trichomonas vaginalis, herpes virus changes, fungal organisms-candida, can reveal normal and atypical endometrial cells. Metastasis to the cervix could be seen on pap.
Dr. Marina Landa
Dr. Marina Landa
Thank
Dr. Joy Jackson
Family Medicine

In brief: You

You are correct in that a pap smear is used for early detection of cervical cancer; to be more specific, the pap test can detect cervical changes ranging from atypical cells all the way to cancerous cells.
A certain type of pap test called a thin prep can also be used to detect std's such as gonorrhea, chlamydia, and trichomonas. In addition, these types of pap tests can detect common vaginal infections such as yeast infections, and BV (bacterial vaginosis).

In brief: You

You are correct in that a pap smear is used for early detection of cervical cancer; to be more specific, the pap test can detect cervical changes ranging from atypical cells all the way to cancerous cells.
A certain type of pap test called a thin prep can also be used to detect std's such as gonorrhea, chlamydia, and trichomonas. In addition, these types of pap tests can detect common vaginal infections such as yeast infections, and BV (bacterial vaginosis).
Dr. Joy Jackson
Dr. Joy Jackson
Thank
Get help from a real doctor now
Dr. Adam Levy
Board Certified, Obstetrics & Gynecology
33 years in practice
1M people helped
Continue
108,000 doctors available
Read more answers from doctors