Dr Oz: Real Stories of Women with HPV
Dr Oz wanted some of his guests to share their experiences with HPV, Human Papilloma Virus, and cervical cancer. Michelle’s story is pretty typical.
Michelle, 37, wanted to start a family with her husband four years ago. She went to the gynecologist and had a pap smear, but they also gave her an HPV test. The HPV test came back positive. She was shocked and thought the test was messed up.
Dr Jennifer Ashton: Pap Smears Miss HPV
Dr Jennifer Ashton said that a pap smear is an important, yet imperfect, test. The swabs used to scrape the cervix during a pap smear may not always get the infected area.
Dr Oz said that recent guidelines show women are getting fewer pap smears after age 30. Dr Diane Harper said that it takes about 3 to 5 years to develop cervical cancer, so it’s not necessary to get tested yearly. She recommends having a pap smear every three years, in addition to an HPV test.
Dr Oz: Testing for HPV
Dr Ashton said that she wants her patients asking for the HPV test sooner rather than later. If they get the tests and are asking open questions, doctors can catch the problems early enough.
Dr Oz: Pap Smear Vs HPV Test
If you’re still confused on the differences, a pap smear examines the cells in the cervix and magnifies them. A pathologist looks at the image to find anything unusual.
An HPV test takes DNA from the cervix and checks to see is cancer causing HPV cells are present.
If you are over 30 and under 65, Dr Oz wants you getting an HPV test and pap smear every five years. Also, check in with your gyno every year.