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"Will a cytopathology consultation note abnormal growths?"

ZocdocAnswersWill a cytopathology consultation note abnormal growths?


Hello. I am making my first trip to the OB/GYn and will have first PAP. It should tell of abnormal growths in me down there, yes?


First, congratulations on making an appointment to see your OB GYN doctor. This is an important part of staying healthy, and most sexually active women should see their OB GYN doctor about once very year. A pap smear is a procedure in which your doctor will take a small scraping of cells from your cervix. This scraping will be sent to the pathology lab, where a cytopathologist will look for any cells that look abnormal. Abnormal cells can be caused by many things including infections. Sometimes, however, they can be suspicious for cervical cancer. Therefore, depending on what the cytopathologist sees, they will make a recommendation to your primary doctor. If the pap smear does not show any abnormal cells, then this means that you very likely do not have any abnormalities. If the smear shows some moderately abnormal cells, then the recommendation might simply be to repeat a pap smear in a few months and see if the abnormality resolves. If, however, the cells are very abnormal, then usually the recommendation is to have a colposcopy. This is a procedure in which your doctor examines the cervix with a magnifying lens, specifically hunting for any areas of obvious abnormality.

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