Since the discovery of the Pap smear in the early part of the 20th century, the incidence of cervical cancer among women had dropped dramatically. This is especially true of countries where the cost of the Pap smear is covered by government health agencies and where the Pap smear is regularly promoted.
It is recommended that all women start an annual Pap smear at the age of 18 or at the age of first intercourse. The Pap smear is nothing more than swabbing, with a cotton swab to the cervix, in order to take a sample of the cells lining the cervix. The cells are then examined under the microscope to see if any cancerous changes have taken place. By doing regular annual examinations, the cancerous changes can be picked up very early and steps can be taken to prevent the development of cancer. If followed, this type of prevention is very effective, reducing the risk of cancer formation to practically zero. Although this is the best prevention of cervical cancer, there are some imperfections with the Pap smear. For one they are not 100% accurate (this is one of the reasons why regular yearly tests are recommended) and if they actually discover cancerous cells, the procedures and steps taken to prevent the cancer from forming are actually very uncomfortable. These procedures may also weaken the strength of the cervix, potentially leading to some complications during pregnancy….Read more….