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Includes Expert Content
pap smear and ovarian cancer
An_249649 posted:
Is it possible to have a negative pap smear, and still be diagnosed with ovarian cancer?
Jane Harrison Hohner, RN, RNP responded:
Dear An: Generally speaking the PAP smear was designed to diagnose cancer of the face of the cervix and (when the little brush is used) cancer of the cervical canal. Occasionally, cancer of the lining of the uterus is detected in a PAP smear if abnormal cells drift down the canal to the face of the cervix where they are picked up by the PAP smear.

I know of one woman (a friend aged 42 in apparent good health) whose ovarian cancer was picked up on a PAP smear. Amazingly some cells from her specific ovarian cancer made it all the way into her Fallopian tube, into the uterus, and then out the cervical canal. Immediately an ultrasound was done and her cancer was found. After almost thirty years of practice, that is the only case I have seen of this type.

If the person with ovarian cancer is you, or someone you know, hopefully this was discovered in the early stages. With Stage I, a five year survival is 75-100%. If you would like more information you might want to check this link:

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Below the Belt: Women's Health - Jane Harrison-Hohner, RN, RNP

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