• Cancer

    Living With Cancer: Who needs a Pap smear, when and why?

a diverse group of women standing together and smilingWhat is a Pap smear? 
A Pap smear, also called a Pap test, is a procedure to test for cervical cancer in women. A Pap smear also can detect changes in cervical cells that suggest cancer may develop in the future. 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.

Autologous stem cell transplant 
An autologous stem cell transplant uses healthy blood stem cells from your own body to replace your diseased or damaged bone marrow. This procedure typically is used in people who need to undergo high doses of chemotherapy and radiation — treatments likely to damage the bone marrow. An autologous stem cell transplant helps to replace the damaged bone marrow. Learn more about what you can expect if your health care provider recommends an autologous stem cell transplant.

What is compassionate use of experimental drugs?
In certain situations, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration allows companies to provide their experimental drugs to people outside of clinical trials. This is referred to as compassionate use. Another way to get access to experimental treatments is through expanded-access studies. In these studies, experimental drugs in the later stages of clinical trials are offered to people who don't qualify for the clinical trials. Learn more from Dr. Timothy Moynihan, a Mayo Clinic oncologist.