Regular screenings help to prevent cervical cancer and ensure you receive prompt treatment before the disease becomes life-threatening. In East Los Angeles, California, experienced OB/GYN Yao Hsu, MD, offers a comprehensive cervical cancer screening program. Call or visit Yao Hsu MD, Inc. today to learn more about the benefits of cervical cancer screening, or schedule a consultation.

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What is cervical cancer screening?

Cervical cancer screening looks for cancer signs before you develop any symptoms. Finding cancer early makes treatment easier, whereas by the time symptoms appear, you could face life-threatening consequences.

Cervical cancer most often affects women aged 35-44 but can occur at any age. Therefore, it’s important to visit Yao Hsu MD, Inc. regularly for cervical cancer screenings. Screening is typically part of a woman’s regular health checkup or well-woman exam.

Dr. Hsu explains your risk for cervical cancer, the pros, and cons of screening, what age you need to start, and how often to undergo screening.

What does cervical cancer screening involve?

There are two kinds of tests used in cervical cancer screening: a Pap smear and human papillomavirus (HPV) test. HPV is an infection typically transmitted sexually that’s the primary cause of cervical cancer.

For both tests, Dr. Hsu or his nurse practitioner collects cells from your cervix’s surface. You lie on your back with your knees up, then let them drop to the side, providing access to your vagina.

Dr. Hsu inserts a speculum — a device that gently opens the vagina. He then passes a cotton swab along the speculum and carefully rubs it on your cervix. That gathers enough cells for the lab to test.

What happens after my cervical cancer screening?

After your Pap smear, Dr. Hsu and his medical team send the sample to a lab. The highly skilled staff checks the sample for cancer cells or any abnormal cells that could develop into cancer. They also check for HPV infection.

When Dr. Hsu receives the results back from the lab, he will discuss them with you. If they’re negative, it means there are no abnormalities, and you simply need to have another routine Pap smear when it’s due.

Sometimes the results identify abnormalities, but these aren’t always cancerous. Some cell changes are due to inflammation and will resolve naturally. Others are precancerous, meaning you don’t have cancer now, but if these cells continue to develop, you could in a few years. In some cases, a Pap smear identifies cancerous cells.

Dr. Hsu will explain what your results mean and what happens next. Any precancerous or cancerous cells need to be removed before they develop further. If you have cancerous cells, you may also need radiation therapy or chemotherapy to destroy any stray cells.

Call Yao Hsu MD, Inc. to schedule your cervical cancer screening or request an appointment online today.