Pap Smear Controversy
For years, women have believed that an annual Pap smear is necessary, even after you’ve had a hysterectomy and the cervix has been removed! And why is that?
Because their doctors told them to. Hmmmm…
And then there’s the fact that while most women receive normal Pap smears, one in five gets a “false positive” report for cervical cancer. This can be blamed on either the doctor who took the smear or the technician who reads the smear and prepares the report. Either way, that’s a lot of women getting a big “scare” over nothing.
The American Cancer Society has issued the following guidelines:
- All women should have annual Pap smears beginning no later than 21 years of age, or no later than three years after first becoming sexually active.
- At age 30, women with a history of three consecutive normal pap smears can have a Pap screening every two to three years.
- Women with risk factors, including a weakened immune system, should still have annual Pap smears, regardless of age.
- Women with a history of HPV infection, should have annual Pap smears, as HPV is known to cause cervical cancer.
- Women who have reached age 70, and who have had at least three normal Pap smear results and no abnormal Pap smear results for the last 10 years, may decide to stop Pap smear screening completely.
- Women who have had a total hysterectomy do not need Pap smears, unless the hysterectomy was performed for cancer or precancerous conditions. Women who have had a partial hysterectomy, that leaves the cervix intact, need to follow the same guidelines as other women and continue Pap smear screenings until they are 70 years old.
The vast majority of sexually active woman will get Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) at some point in their lives. Two strains in particular are responsible for 99% of all cervical cancers. In most women, however, their immune systems will rid their bodies of the virus long before they ever knew they had it.
Routine chiropractic care keeps the immune system from becoming weakened and helps the body rid itself of HPV – another reason to keep up with your chiropractic adjustments. And even if all your Pap smears are normal, chiropractic care can help with PMS symptoms as well!