- By Laurel Kelly
Consumer Health: Who needs a Pap smear, when and why?
January is Cervical Health Awareness Month, which makes this a good time to learn more about detecting cervical cancer.
A Pap smear, also called a Pap test, is a procedure to test for cervical cancer. A Pap smear also can detect changes in cervical cells that suggest cancer may develop in the future.
Early-stage cervical cancer generally produces no signs or symptoms, so early diagnosis is important. There is a greater chance at a cure when cervical cancer is detected early, so it's important that women have Pap smears as part of their regular health care.
Find out the recommended age range and frequency for Pap smears, and what you can expect during the examination.