Chile: Don’t forget the Pap test

By Arttemisa

CHILE:Once a year, a check-up is required of all automobiles to comply with the law. There are other reviews that exist which are done according to conscience, nothing requires them and no law obliges us to do them in order to function, just our responsibility is what motivates us to do them.
I’m referring to the physical check-up of totally feminine issues. Well known by everyone and from personal experience of a close friend is that an annual check-up can save a life. Thank God my mother also is one more on the long list of women whose cancer was detected in time.
And as I had my check-up last week, I feel that I can share this post with all of you.


There is an exam called Papanicolaou, also called a Pap smear, which is a form of examining the cells that gather in the cervix (the extreme part of the uterus.)

Source: Illustration copyright 2005 Nucleus Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. http://www.nucleusinc.com
The main purpose of the PAP test is to detect abnormal changes in the cells that can grow because of cancer of the cervix or before cancer appears.
All women 20-years-old or older should take the test, without exception, and those under 20 who have had sexual relations.
In case of the virgin women, the sample is taken by a special instrument especially for them.
In Chile, for example, every three years a check-up is given if the results are normal. This test detects 95% of cervical cancers that are in a state still not visible with a simple sight test.
Occasionally, the determination can be made whether it’s endometriosis or ovarian cancer.
It’s an examination that is not invasive and relatively affordable. The procedure is not painful. It feels like a regular pinch, but it’s worth it because in only a few minutes the specialist can detect irregularities in the cervix.
To be positive is a sign that a lesion exists which if not treated in time, can develop into cancer.
Some of the reasons why a PAP test can be positive are because of inflammation or irritation that can exist, which could be caused by an infection of the cervix. Also, by early signs of cervical displacia, or in the worst cases, because there is already cancer but many times does not go beyond the cervix which is known as “carcinoma in situ.”
If the results of PAP are positive, your doctor may want to do another Pap smear or may want you to have a colposcopy. A colposcopy permits your doctor to see your cervix better and also take a sample of tissues called a biopsy.
Your doctor will use an instrument called colposcope that has a light that illuminates the cervix and increases the size of the area that he sees. Your doctor will explain the results and will speak with you about the options for treatment.
Recommendations before a PAP test:

  • Don’t have sexual relations 24 hours before the exam.
  • Do not schedule an appointment for a Pap smear while you are on your period.
  • Do not douche or use vaginal medications during the 48 hours before the exam.

When was your last check-up?
Learn more about Arttemiss:
Greetings from Santiago de Chile!
I feel very honored to post in this website, I feel it as a huge opportunity and a responsibility, because I can reach many people through my words. I also think that through my writings many Latin-American women living in the US may learn how it is to live in América Latina.
I born 32 years ago on a cold winter morning in Santiago de Chile. I went to college for a Pre-K teaching degree, but my real passion is writing. I love writing, it frees my soul. For that reason, I write every chance I get on my blog La Voz de las Chicas.
I enjoy the simple things in life. I feel deeply happy walking in a park over dry leaves or walking on the beach staring at the horizon.
I ponder a lot and my life is center of my emotions and values.
I’m an eternal dreamer about a better world, more fair…. more happy!!!

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