The specific HPV type may be identified to determine the next step. If you have an abnormal cervical cancer screening test result, you may need further testing. Two screening tests can help prevent cervical cancer or find it early— The Pap test (or Pap smear) looks for precancers, cell changes on the cervix that might become cervical cancer if they are not treated appropriately. An abnormal Pap test or HPV test result may mean more testing is needed to see if a cancer or a pre-cancer is present. It could be related to life changes like pregnancy, menopause, or an infection. Linking to a non-federal website does not constitute an endorsement by CDC or any of its employees of the sponsors or the information and products presented on the website. The earlier you find cervical cancer, the easier it is to treat. It is common for test results to come back unclear. Note: ACOG guidelines address frequency at which cervical cancer and STD testing should be ordered based on test results. The tests that are used include colposcopy (with biopsy), endocervical scraping and cone biopsies. Atypical squamous cells, cannot exclude HSIL (ASC-H)—ASC-H means that changes in the cervical cells have been found that raise concern for the presence of HSIL. Clinicians should determine the appropriate frequency for their patients. Your question may be answered online to help educate the public about women’s health. The National Cervical Screening Program's (NCSP) new five-yearly Cervical Screening Test (CST) detects infection with Human papillomavirus (HPV) and replaces the two-yearly Pap test (from December 2017). LSIL usually is caused by an HPV infection that often goes away on its own. ; The HPV test looks for the virus (human papillomavirus) that can cause these cell changes.Both tests can be done in a doctor’s office or clinic. Glandular cells also are present inside the uterus. Atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance (ASC-US)—ASC-US means that changes in the cervical cells have been found. Colposcopy: Viewing of the cervix, vulva, or vagina under magnification with an instrument called a colposcope. If you are 30 years old or older, you may choose to get a Pap test only, an HPV test only, or both tests together. Abnormal changes on your cervix are likely caused by HPV. Cervical cancer screening, which usually includes a Pap smear and/or an HPV test, is an important and necessary preventive procedure for women starting at the age of 21. Cervical Biopsy: A minor surgical procedure to remove a small piece of cervical tissue that is then examined under a microscope in a laboratory. For a biopsy, the health care provider removes a small sample of tissue and sends it to a lab for testing. The latest medical and scientific evidence shows that you can safely return to screen in 5 years. Conization: A procedure in which a cone-shaped piece of tissue is removed from the cervix. It offers current information and opinions related to women's health. The Pap test is recommended for all women between the ages of 21 and 65 years old. The test is a simple procedure to check the health of a person’s cervix, it is expected to protect up to 30% more people than the pap smear was able to. Cervical screening is also known as a … Your screening results indicate you do not have a human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. You’ll need to come back for a repeat Cervical Screening Test in 6 to 12 weeks. CIN describes the actual changes in cervical cells. Routine screening guidelines are not addressed by these recommendations and are determined under a separate process, but the current management guidelines assume women have initial (first-time) screening test results. A Pap test result can be normal, unclear, or abnormal. It is not clear if it’s related to HPV. But it is only done every 5 years instead of every 2 years, if your results are normal. Your doctor may tell you that you can wait three years for your next screening test if you received a Pap test only. However, methods of receiving results and timing vary in different parts of the country and depending on the type of result. The HPV test will either give a positive or negative result. Your cervical screening results are usually sent to you in a letter. The changes are almost always a sign of an HPV infection. The more serious changes can lead to cancer if not treated (see FAQ191 "Human Papillomavirus [HPV] Vaccination"). Read women’s health stories. ASCCP Risk-Based Management Consensus Guidelines for abnormal cervical cancer screening tests and cancer precursors have been published. A normal (or “negative”) result means that no cell changes were found on your cervix. The Pap test and HPV test are screening tests, not diagnostic tests. How Is Cervical Cancer Diagnosed and Treated? The Pap test and HPV test are screening tests, not diagnostic tests. A positive HPV test means you do have an HPV type that may be linked to cervical cancer. The cervical screening test is a safe, quick test carried out by a health professional. Your cervical screening test sample is sent to a laboratory where it will be tested for HPV. Some also can cause cancer of the head and neck. These repeat tests may be done in 1 year or in 3 years depending on your initial test result, your age, and the results of previous tests. Receiving cervical screening test results Cervical screening test results are normally sent to women in writing between 2-6 weeks after the test. It is not a substitute for the advice of a physician. Cervical screening is a method of preventing cancer by detecting and treating cervical abnormalities which, if left untreated, could lead to cancer in a woman's cervix (the neck of the womb). 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