When Is the Perfect Time to Have a Cervical Cancer Screening?
Regular cervical cancer screening is highly recommended for all women having been engaged in a sexual intercourse.
1. For women under the age of 21: the Pap smear screening is conducted 3 years after the first sexual intercourse. If the test result is normal, the future test is to be conducted once a year.
2. For women aged 21-30: the screening with Pap smear should be carried out once a year or according to the doctor' s recommendation in case of abnormal result.
3. For women above the age of 30: the Pap smear and the HPV-DNA tests must be taken regularly. Women older than 30 years old who are sexually active are at high risk of permanent HPV infection. This condition is closely related to the occurrence of cervical cancer.
The cervical cancer screening is also necessary for:
1. Women having their uterus removed
- Before the removal, if the patients have abnormal Pap smear results, history of precancerous lesions, or no experience of having a Pap smear test, the test should be conducted annually. If the results are negative for 3 consecutive years, the screenings can be stopped thereafter.
- Before the removal, if the patients have neither history of Pap smear tests nor abnormal HPV-DNA results, the screening is not necessarily conducted.
2. Vaccinated women
In the post-vaccination period, the regular screening is still necessary because:
- The currently available vaccine does not protect against all types of high-risk HPV (only type 16 and 18).
During August to December 2018, Prodia is working with BPJS health to conduct a free pap smear examination program. For more information, click here.