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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Does a woman ever get to stop having to get Pap smears?

The answer is YES. Since cervical cancer is caused by human papilloma virus, which is almost exclusively a disease of younger women, if a woman has had 3 negative Pap smears between the ages of 55  and 65, she may safely elect not to get Pap smears any more.

Also, if a woman has had a hysterectomy for a benign (non-cancerous) condition like fibroids or bleeding, then it is no longer necessary to have Pap smears done.

If a woman has had a hysterectomy for any kind of cancer, then she should continue to get a Pap smear every 5 years up to age 65.

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