Pap smear: Saving Lives Since 1943

The Pap smear is a screening tests for cervical, vaginal and endocervical cancer. To be more specific, a physician looks in and up the vaginal canal with a clear vaginal speculum, opening the vaginal canal to see the vagina and cervix. The cervix, respectfully, physically appears exactly like the tip or head of the male genitalia - it has the same curve and shape with a hole/opening at the tip called the cervical "os".
A Pap smear looks for abnormal cells in and around the cervical OS (tip). The "smear" is a scraping from the borders of the OS and a scraping of the vaginal wall around the rest of the cervix a soft brush is inserted into the OS to collect cells for microscopic analysis. The scraping is usually almost painless and is like a Popsicle stick rubbing across your hand. These scrapings are read by a pathologist in the laboratory. What the pathologist looks for is multiple nuclei in the cells, lots of inflammatory reaction involving the cells, or an excessive number of immature cells suggesting possible, probable, or definite cervical cancer or vaginal. A scraping of the vaginal wall is done as well. Vaginal cancers are rare, but unfortunately, do occur.
The confusion lately with Pap smears is because of the study on genital warts (virology). These warts are often seen on men and may be seen rectally, vaginally, or on the labia in women. They contain a Papilloma virus. This virus has around 20 different types, 4 of which can cause cervical cancer. The proper evaluation of this Papilloma virus causing genital warts and the specific small percentage of types that cause cervical cancer is where the confusion starts. Everyone who has genital or anal warts does not necessarily get cervical cancer. Even so, people who have had genital warts treated or untreated may develop a percentage of the cases of cervical cancer.
A new vaccine, primarily for women ages 9 to 25 years, has been approved by the FDA to help prevent this viral infection before it is transmitted. It will not cure an already existing infection. Much more recently, this immunization has become available for young men in the same age group who do not have the virus. This vaccine is to protect them from getting genital warts and spreading them to others. It does not cure an already present infection.
Genital warts can usually be diagnosed by inspection and sometimes require careful magnification. They can be very small or very large. Usually, the warts need to be surgically removed. They almost always require surgical removal at some point to avoid the infection, invasion, or spread. They can grow to a very large size and be extremely irritating, unsanitary, and cosmetically inappropriate. Rarely may they grow to the size of a hockey puck, peach or plum. Any sexually active person having had, or thought to have had, exposure to genital warts usually needs a medical examination. For women, the annual Pap smear and pelvic exam may be the best avenue for this purpose. Other tests for such problems as Chlamydia may be recommended. When in doubt, always see your doctor.
John Drew Laurusonis, MD
Doctors Medical Center

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Laurusonis was conferred his Doctor of Medicine degree in 1983 and has been actively taking care of patients since completing his Internal Medicine residency in 1987 in the Garden State of New Jersey. Dr. Laurusonis has been licensed in four states but ultimately chose to permanently relocate to Georgia with his family and begin a private practice. Through his extensive experience in Internal Medicine, as well as in Emergency Rooms throughout the United States, Dr. Laurusonis saw how traditional Emergency Rooms were often overwhelmed by patients suffering medical conditions that were urgent but may not need the traditional “Level I Trauma Center”. Patients often waited six to twelve hours to be seen by a physician, were riddled with thousands of dollars in medical bills, and were generally unhappy with the system.
Dr. Laurusonis decided to open an Urgent Care Center instead of a 9-5 doctor's office. Through the last fifteen years he has received accolades from the community and his patients. He has expanded his practice to include many cosmetic therapies that have previously been treated with painful and extensive plastic surgery. He has been invited to the White House numerous times, has been named Physician of the Year from GA, as seen in the Wall Street Journal, and has served as Honorary Co-Chairman on the Congressional Physicians Advisory Board
Dr. Laurusonis and his practice, Doctors Medical Center, is open 7 days a week from 7:30 am to 9:30 pm offering such services as lab, x-ray, EKGs, aesthetics (Botox, dermabrasion, sclerotheraby and veins etc.), cold/flu, sore throats, fractures, sprains, lacerations, GYN, Pediatrics, Phlebology Anxiety/Insomnia/Depression Treatment, skin tag/mole removal, veins, allergies, asthma, physicals--just to name a few. Dr. Laurusonis welcomes you to either make an appointment or just walk-in to see him. Dr. Laurusonis will take the time to speak with you about your concerns--no problem is too big or too small. If you need additional services we have specialist referrals available or we can refer you to the neighborhood hospital emergency room. Give Doctors Medical Center a call--Dr. Laurusonis will be happy to speak with you.

John Drew Laurusonis, MD
Doctors Medical Center
3455 Peachtree Industrial Blvd
Suite 110
Duluth, GA 30096