Pap Test (Papanicolaou Test or Pap Smear)

A Pap test is a test that looks for changes in the cells of the cervix. During the test, your doctor collects a small sample of cells from the cervix, the lower part of your uterus. The cells are sent to a lab and tested to see if they contain certain changes that could turn into cervical cancer.

When your Pap test result is "abnormal," it means that the test found some cells that don't look normal. They may not be cancer, but you may need more testing to find out for sure.

Current as of: February 20, 2015

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine & Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology