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This is for the Ladies..Pap Smears after Hysterectomy?

Posted Oct 25 2008 12:00am

First of all, most people do not understand the purpose of a Pap Smear Test.
"Pap Tests" or "Pap Smears" check for changes in the cells of your cervix, which is the
lower part of the uterus that opens into the vagina. The Pap test can tell if you have an infection, abnormal cervical cells, or cervical cancer.
It does not test for cancers of other female organs.

Did you know women also have cancers of the vagina, vulva and uterus? I personally had never thought about
cancer of the vulva... until I came across patients with it when I worked as a travel nurse in an outpatient cancer center. The youngest person that I took care of with gynocological cancer was 12yrs old.

Some women think that because they have had a hysterectomy, they no longer need to have

  • If the “total hysterectomy” performed because of abnormal cells or cancer, these
    women should be tested yearly for vaginal cancer until they have three normal test results.

    If the “total hysterectomy” was done for reasons other than cancer, the
    woman should ask her doctor if it is necessary for her to get regular paps.

Women who have had a hysterectomy need to continue seeing their gynecologist for pelvic exams. Pelvic exams are done for screening of the genetalia and sexualy transmitted diseases.

More FYIs..........
The best time to be tested is 10 to 20 days after the first day of your last period.

To prevent a false negative Pap Result,
You should avoid the following things for two days prior to test:

  • Douching

  • Using tampons

  • Using vaginal creams, suppositories, and medicines
  • Using vaginal deodorant sprays or powders
  • Having sex

Ladies, I also want to remind you that October is breast cancer awareness month, and we should be doing "self breast exams" every month as a pre-screening for breast cancer. Any changes need to be reported to your doctor.

If you are 40 and older, you should have had at least one mammogram done and now it is recommended that after 40 should have mammogram every year.

To read my information on breast cancer visit:

References used for Information in this blog included

Jacqueline Carter, RN,BSN

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