Cervical Cancer Prevention – The Pap Smear

Dr Keith Reisler pic

Dr Keith Reisler
Image: drreislerobgyn.com

An experienced obstetrician and gynecologist, Keith Reisler, MD, provides a high professional standard of care to women at his Plano, TX-based private practice. Among the many screening methods Dr. Keith Reisler relies on to keep women healthy, Pap smears allow doctors to detect signs of cervical cancer.

The Pap smear is a common diagnostic test that looks for tell-tale changes in vaginal and cervical cells. These changes may signal the presence of cancer or pre-cancerous conditions. Guidelines suggest that women get their first pap smear at age 21 and then undergo follow-up tests in 3 year intervals. However many doctors still recommend yearly Pap smears. Even if Pap smears are performed at less frequency intervals it is still recommended that patients are seen annually for a gynecological exam.

If cervical cancer, a type of cancer caused by the HPV virus, is detected in its early stages, doctors have a better chance of eliminating it before it can spread. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, roughly 12,000 American women develop cervical cancer annually. Of those 12,000, about one-third end up dying from the disease.