In Alberta, a Pap test is the main screening test for cervical cancer.
A Pap test (or what some used to call Pap smears) checks the cells of your cervix, to make sure there are no abnormal cells. Abnormal cells can change over time and become cancerous, without pain or symptoms.
It’s a quick test done right in your healthcare provider’s office or at a clinic. A sample of cells is taken from your cervix and sent to the lab. The lab checks the sample for any abnormal cells that may lead to cancer.
A Pap test doesn’t test for other cancers or sexually transmitted infections such as chlamydia, gonorrhea or HIV.