Ask the Nurse

I had a hysterectomy at 39 (55 now), and I have been told that I no longer need a Pap test, is this correct? I lost a sister at 42 years of age from 4th stage squamous cell cervical cancer and I am concerned. Thank you in advance.

You do need periodic pelvic exams. If you still have a cervix, you need periodic pap smears of the cervix. If your cervix was removed with hysterectomy, you do not need a pap smear. Cervical cancer is not a genetic/familial cancer, rather it is caused by certain strains of HPV in your cervix.

It is still important to have a physician exam the health of the vaginal tissue, inspect the genitalia and assess for muscle tone of the pelvic floor. At age 45, a periodic colon cancer screening with rectal exam and colonoscopy is needed.

All My Best,
Speaking of Women’s Health nurse

December 15, 2015 at 11:38am