What is cervical cancer?
Cervical cancer is cancer of the cervix. The cervix is part of your uterus (womb).
What is a Pap smear?
A Pap smear is a test your doctor does to check for signs of cancer of the cervix.
The cells from your cervix are checked for signs that they're changing from normal cells to abnormal cells. Before they turn into cancer, cells go through a series of changes. The results of your Pap smear can show whether your cells are going through these changes long before you actually have cancer. If caught and treated early, cervical cancer is not life threatening. This is why it is so important that you get regular Pap smears.
Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff