Dr. Oz: Michelle’s HPV Story
Michelle, 37, said she has been married for five years. About four years ago she wanted to start a family with her husband. She went to the gynecologists to get a pap smear and her doctor also gave her an HPV test. The test came back positive.
She always had normal pap smears though. She felt shocked and surprised when the test came back. She thought they had messed up the test and she didn’t know where to turn. She was lost. And she had only been married for one year at this point.
Dr. Oz: Pap Smear Test Can Miss HPV
Dr. Jennifer Ashton said the pap smear is a very important test but it is not perfect. She showed the audience the different kinds of tools gynecologists used to scrape the cervix when doing a pap smear and said it is not always perfect. The gynecologist could swab the wrong part of the cervix and miss the area infected with HPV.
Now since working for Recapo I have learned a lot of new things about women’s health. And one thing I did not know about were the tools they use to perform a pap smear. After seeing them, and knowing what they do, I can say I am glad I never have to get a pap smear.
Dr Oz: Pap Smear Guidelines for Cervical Cancer
Dr. Oz brought up a recent guideline that recommended women start getting fewer pap smears after 30. Dr. Diane Harper said the time frame to develop cervical cancer is between 3 to 5 years, which means it is not necessary to get tested every year. Dr. Harper said she thinks it is safe to have a pap smear done every three years and coupled with an HPV test, it would be alright to go every five years.
Dr. Oz: HPV Testing
Dr. Jennifer Ashton said she would rather have her patients ask for a HPV test than find something too late. She said asking questions is always the best way to go.
Michelle said she didn’t even know about the HPV test. Luckily she had recently switched doctors and the new doctor told her about it. She said her knowledge of the test, nor anyone else’s, should not be based on luck.
Dr. Oz: HPV Test vs Pap Smear
A pap smear examines the cells taken from the cervix and magnifies them on a large screen. The pathologist then looks at the image and determines if they see anything unusual. For the HPV test, DNA is taken from the cervix and checks to see if cancer causing strains of HPV are present.
Dr. Oz broke it down pretty simple. If you are over the age of 30 and under the age of 65, make sure to get an HPV test and pap smear down every five years. But this does not mean to stop going to gynecologist. Dr. Oz said to go to the gynecologist every year to get a check up.