The Papanicolaou test, commonly called as the Pap smear or Pap test, is a screening test that is used to find cervical cancer in women. The test is conducted to find any abnormal change in the cells present in the cervical area of the person, which could be an indicator of cervical cancer or a precancerous condition.
In almost all the cases, cervical cancer progresses slowly and it may take years for the cancerous cells to manifest into a cancer. This is why it is very important for women to have regular Pap smear test.
Usually, the test is done as part of a gynecology checkup. The test is recommended for all women between the age group 21 and 65 years. For women who are above the age of 30, an HPV test is also recommended along with the Pap test.
If the result of the Pap smear test is negative, you can wait for three years until the next test. In addition, if you are above the age of 30 and the results of both Pap smear and HPV are negative, you can wait for five years until the next tests.
There are many low cost and free women’s clinics in the United States, like the Complete Care Community Health Center, which can help you with the test if you qualify via the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program. Remember that the test is not diagnostic but a screening tool. Screening tests can help find out abnormalities even if there are no symptoms. This is why Pap smear test is necessary even if you did not note any signs of developing cervical cancer.
Many women’s clinics offer low cost or free Pap smear tests, however, many women miss having the tests due to financial issues or lack of health insurance coverage. However, the nonprofit programs and free women’s clinics set up in the US ensure that no woman has to leave the clinic without having the Pap smear test done due to financial issues.
There are many free women’s clinics and local county health departments where you can have low cost or free Pap smear tests, and for the uninsured women, the cost of the test will be calculated based on the income of the person. Get in touch with our free women’s clinic today and book an appointment for a Pap smear test to make sure that you are not at risk of developing cervical cancer.