CERVICAL CANCER SCREENING
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
If I do not meet the criteria for cervical cancer screening programme, can I still participate in other screening programmes?
If you do not meet the eligibility criteria for cervical cancer screening, you may still be able to participate in the other screening programmes (cardiovascular disease risk factors screening programme, colorectal cancer screening programme or breast cancer screening programme) provided that you meet their eligibility criteria.
When should Pap Smear be done?
Ideal time is 14 days after the first day of your menstruation (period).
How do I prepare myself for the Pap Smear?
48 hours before the Pap Smear, you should:
Refrain from sexual intercourseAvoid vaginal douching which is washing the inside of the vagina with water or other fluidAvoid using vaginal products such as vaginal lubricants and tamponAvoid using vaginal contraceptives
What to expect during the Pap Smear?
You will be seen by a female nurse at your Health Centre or Well Woman Clinic. You will be asked to undress from your waist down and lie on the examination bed with your legs propped up and open. The female nurse will insert a speculum inside your vagina first to open the vagina allowing the cervix to be seen. A small brush will be used to gently take a sample of the cervical cells. The sample obtained from the brush will be sent to the laboratory for analysis. The procedure will only take a few minutes.
Are there any risks associated with Pap Smear?
Pap smear is a safe way to screen for cervical cancer. This test might bring slight discomfort to some women during the insertion of the speculum. If you can relax and follow the nurse's instruction, this will make your experience better and easier for the nurse to do the procedure.
Following the procedure, some women will experience slight bleeding or 'spotting' for a few days. Do not be alarmed as this is normal.
Any screening tests/tools used are not 100% accurate or reliable. There is a chance that the test used might not be able to detect a particular disease, leading to false negative result. A false negative result means that the result is normal, when in fact, the person actually has the disease. Cervical cancer may take 10 to 20 years to develop. Therefore, if one test doesn't detect the abnormal cells, there is still a chance that the next test most likely will.
How do I get the results of my Pap Smear?
You will be given an appointment 2 weeks after your Pap Smear to get your results.
If your result is normal, you will be invited for re-screening in 3 years.If your result is abnormal, you will be given a follow-up appointment and/or refer for further evaluation.