Pap test is a blood-free, painless and simple preventive method applied in the cervix of uterus. It can diagnose the cancer of the vagina in precocious stages, the so called “precancerous situations“.
This form of cancer can be observed after the twentieth year of age and until the age of eighties.
In the cancer of cervix we can notice three stages, in which the cells form characteristic lesions:
1 . Precancerous lesions
2. Carcinoma in situ
3. Invasive carcinoma.
During the previous decades the higher frequency of invasive cancer was observed around the 45th year of age, while the early cancer was observed 15 years earlier. Also cervical cancer was reportedly the main cause of death among all kinds of cancer in women. In the past few years a spectacular decline of the rate of deaths from cancer of cervix is reported reaching the rate of 60% and more. In this way the cervical cancer becomes the seventh cause of death after breast cancer, intestine, stomach and lung.
The impressive decline of the number of deaths from cervical cancer is due to the effectiveness of Pap test, that is to say in the timely and precocious diagnosis of precancerous stages, where the chirurgical abstraction of the lesion can result to the complete treatment.
The test Pap should be performed immediately after the first visit of the woman to the gynecologist and should be repeated every year , even if the woman does not have any symptoms.
The diagnosis in one of the two first stages, may end up to the complete treament of the patient. In the third stage of invasive cancer the treatment is difficult with uncertain results.
Finally despite the increased number of cases of cervical cancer, the mortality has been kept in low rates and this is due to the early diagnosis, that the great researcher George Papanicolaou introduced with Pap test.