Medicine: Flap about Pap

Is an annual exam needed?

The test is familiar to almost every woman who has visited a gynecologist. To take a Pap smear, the doctor inserts a metal device that enables him or her to see into the vaginal tract. Then he inserts a swab or spatula, scrapes some cells from the cervix and smears them on a glass slide, which is then sent to a laboratory for microscopic examination. A few days later, the doctor receives a report indicating whether the cells are normal, atypical or malignant. The patient gets a bill for about $6.

American women have been urged since the...

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