Cervical cancer screening helps in detecting the changes in the cervical cells that may progress to cause cervical cancer. The tests include HPV tests and Pap smear tests. Women between the ages of 21 and 29 should undergo a Pap test every three years. Precancerous conditions are also present in other organs of the female reproductive system, such as the vagina, vulva, and endometrium.
It is important to note that not all abnormal cervical cells indicate cancer. These are only precancerous conditions and may get back to normal on their own. The doctor may advise further tests to detect the severity of changes in the cervical cells.
Frequent cervical cancer screening is required in women with HIV infection, compromised immune systems, and exposure to diethylstilbestrol before birth.