Pap smears are done at the annual exam to screen for cervical cancer. The Pap smear does not screen for endometrial or ovarian cancer. Abnormal pap smears are usually, but not always, associated with an infection with the high risk HPV virus. If an abnormal pap smear is found, a colposcopy is recommended to carefully examine the cervix and upper vagina microscopically to detect cervical dysplasia (pre-cancer) or cervical cancer. Pap smears are screening tests and the colposcopy is the definitive test.
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