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What to Expect

Cervical cancer screening (Pap test) can be done by a doctor, nurse practitioner, registered nurse, midwife or naturopathic doctor at their office or clinic.

For the test, you will need to undress from the waist down. You will be provided with a gown or a sheet to cover up. Then lie back on the medical table and put your feet up. When you’re comfortable, the health care provider will gently insert an instrument called a speculum into your vagina. Next, the health care provider will use a small spatula or brush to collect some cells from your cervix. You may feel a little discomfort, but the procedure is not usually painful.

The sample then goes to a lab to be examined. Your results will be sent to your health care provider. If there are any abnormal cells present, your health care provider will contact you.

An abnormal result does not mean that you have cancer. However, it is very important to attend all follow-up appointments. 

Remember: Detecting and treating abnormal cells can stop cancer from developing. By having this test every three years, as recommended by BC Cancer, you can reduce your risk of developing cervical cancer by up to 70%.

To get a cervical cancer screening call your health care provider or find a suitable clinic by visiting our clinic locator.

For more information about the Pap test, watch the animated video below.


Video available in EnglishCantoneseMandarin & Punjabi

SOURCE: What to Expect ( )
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