What is a Pap test?
A Pap test, or Papanicolaou test, is a procedure that removes a small sample of cells from the cervix.
Cells are looked at under a microscope to see if they are normal or abnormal.
A Pap test is done every 1 to 3 years, depending on your province’s or territory’s screening guidelines and your health history. A woman who has been treated for a precancerous condition of the cervix will usually have a Pap test every year for the rest of her life.
A Pap test is done to screen for and help diagnose precancerous conditions of the cervix and cervical cancer. It is done to help diagnose precancerous conditions of the vagina and vaginal cancer, and also to diagnose infection and inflammation in the lower female reproductive tract
Pap tests are also done to follow up after an abnormal Pap test or to monitor precancerous conditions. They are used to check for abnormal cell changes or to see if cancer comes back (recurs) after treatment.