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Ask Dr. Norm S. Your Own Question
Dr. Norm S.
Dr. Norm S., Board Certified OB/GYN
Category: OB GYN
Satisfied Customers: 11059
Experience:  Over 30 years of experience in OB/GYN practice, including teaching students. Fellow of American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
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My daughter (25 years old) just had her pap test and was recently

Customer Question

My daughter (25 years old) just had her pap test and was recently told that she had abnormal cervical cells. The doctor she saw just told her to come back in 6 months. Should some form of treatment be done right away? or is it that it's to soon or early as they are small. I would think anything connected to even the word "CANCER" would be acted on right away, not come back in 6 months to see if they get bigger!!!
Please advise a worried mother.
Thank you.
p.s. this Dr. was a man (just a regular physician not a specialist)
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: OB GYN
Expert:  Dr. Norm S. replied 1 year ago.
Hello and welcome.
I am Dr. Norm, and I look forward to helping you today.
I doubt that the doctor used the word cancer in discussing your daughter's abnormal Pap Smear.
The beauty of Pap smears is that the find abnormal cell changes many years before cancer develops. Some abnormal cells on a Pap smear are very common. If an HPV test was done, that helps us to know whether there is even a need to repeat the Pap smear early.
Assuming that no HPV test was done, mild abnormal cell changes on a Pap smear can safely be followed by repeating the Pap smear in 6 months. If that Pap smear is normal, then is can be repeated in a year or so.
When abnormal cells on a Pap smear are significant, they suggest precancerous changes in the cervix. Most such precancerous changes will disappear without treatment. Treatment is only needed when precancerous changes are fairly severe, which is quite unlikely in a young woman like your daughter.
So if HPV testing is available, that can be helpful. Otherwise, repeating the Pap smear in 6 months is quite reasonable.
p.s I'm a man too. I'm a specialist, but many men general physicians do an excellent job.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your help. No, there was no HPV test done only the advice to go back in another 6 months. So its nothing serious to worry about? What if the next one shows the same? Is that when an HPV test should be done or can the test be done sooner, if an individual is worried about it? I would prefer she go to a OB GYN not a regular physician.No disrespect to you as a man or a specialist, I just have my preference and I guess my daughter doesn't.Again, Thanks much for answering my question.
Expert:  Dr. Norm S. replied 1 year ago.
If an HPV test is available, that would be helpful. If your daughter is negative for high risk HPV, then we would know that the abnormal Pap smear is nothing to worry about.
If the next Pap smear shows the same, then I think she probably needs further evaluation. That could be an HPV test, or otherwise a colposcopy, which is a way to look at the Pap smear with a low power microscope.
OB/GYN doctors specialize in this, but the average general physician is able to manage the early stages of abnormal Pap smears.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Okay, thank you.
Expert:  Dr. Norm S. replied 1 year ago.
You're welcome.