What makes Pap test essential
Vasileios Karountzos, Efthimios Deligeoroglou, Artemis Tsitsika
During puberty your body grows up rapidly so as to become the body of an adult female soon. Your uterus and your reproductive system is gradually completed, preparing you for motherhood. In the meantime you start being concerned about gynecological issues. One of them, is the danger of cervical cancer.
According to the National Health Organization, cervical cancer is the third most known type of cancer in the world. Almost 200.000 women die each year, while 40 women die every day in Europe from this type of cancer. In Greece, although there isn’t sufficient data, it is estimated there are 600 new incidents of cervical cancer each year. It is important to know, that PAP test, along with Human Papilloma Vaccine (HPV), has helped reduce cervical cancer incidents.
The so called “Papanikolaou test” abbreviated as “PAP test”, was invented by, and named after, the prominent Greek doctor Georgios Papanikolaou, who was born in Kymi and lived from 1883 to 1963. This famous doctor, biologist, researcher and pioneer in cell pathology, by developing a new scientific sector “the exfoliative cytopathology”, became preeminent in USA, both in clinical and research level. Although he was “deprived” of the Nobel Prize in Medicine, he still remains the cornerstone of the prevention of cervical cancer.
Although many girls at your age tend to avoid having the test, either because they feel embarrassed or afraid it might hurt, or because they do not know what a PAP Test actually is and what its benefits are, it is very important to have the test, once a year, after your first sexual intercourse. The procedure is simple and very cheap (fully covered by the health insurance system).
The health care provider collects a sample of cells from the outer opening of the cervixand, from the ectocervix (external os) and from the endocervix, by using a very small endocervical brush. If you haven’t had a prior abnormal test pap, screening is typically recommended annually. For best results, a Pap test should not occur when a person is menstruating. It is recommended to avoid engaging in sexual intercourse for two to three days prior to having a Pap smear.
Don’t’ waste any time, nor neglect having your annual PAP Test. It is a simple, painless procedure that, along with the Human Papilloma Vaccine (HPV), can prevent cervical cancer in time.Vassilios Karountzos
Resident physician in Obstetrics and Gynaecology,PhD candidate at the Medical School of Athens University, Scientific Associate of the Greek Society of Adolescent Medicine
Professor of Obstetrics - Gynecology, at the Medical School of Athens University, Scientific Associate of the Greek Society of Adolescent Medicine
Ass. Professor of Pediatrics - Adolescent Medicine
Scientific Coordinator of the Program "PROLEPSIS» ran by the Greek Society of Adolescent Medicine