Is a Pap smear and cervical cancer screening the same thing?
[.highlighted] Q: Dear Teal, [.highlighted] I have only ever heard of pap smears. After visiting your website, I see they are called cervical cancer screenings? Has this always been the case and are they the same thing?
A: Yes, the Pap smear and the HPV test are two different cervical cancer screening tests.
For decades, depending on a woman's age and past screening results, Pap smears were recommended every 1-3 years. Then, with the evidence that HPV causes more than 90 percent of cervical cancers, the HPV test was introduced alongside the Pap smear. This evidence, paired with the new HPV test changed the screening frequency to every five years.