Pap smear and treatment

Alternative names
Treatment - abnormal Pap smear


An abnormal pap smear does not always require special treatment, but it does require follow up. There are three broad categories of abnormal pap smear results:

  • Noncancerous - often reported as “Atypical cells”  
  • Precancerous - usually reported as “Cervical dysplasia”  
  • Cancerous

If you receive a result stating that you have atypical cells in your cervix, your doctor is likely to treat you for an infection and have you follow up in 4 to 6 months for a repeat pap smear or simply have you follow up in 4 to 6 months for the repeat pap smear.

If you receive a precancerous report, you will likely receive colposcopy and possible biopsy. Further treatment will be determined by your physician based on the results of these tests.

The goal for a pap smear is to find a change or abnormality in the cervix before it becomes cancerous.

Johns Hopkins patient information

Last revised: December 5, 2012
by Potos A. Aagen, M.D.

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