Planned parenthood offers Pap smear discounts in June

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The Antigua Planned Parenthood Association (APPA) is offering Pap smear at a discounted cost of $55 for the entire month of June.
The executive director of the APPA, Nurse Lyndale Weaver–Greenaway, said the procedure usually costs $125.
“We were doing free services for the Barbudans after the hurricane and when that finished in April we realised that we had a little bit of funds left back so we are now putting it towards the Pap smear. The funds should be used off by June,” the director said.
The Pap smear is a screening procedure for cervical cancer. It tests for the presence of precancerous or cancerous cells on the cervix. Cells scraped from the opening of the cervix are examined under a microscope.
Pap screen testing should begin at age 21 with routine follow-ups recommended every three years for women up to 65 years old.
Nurse Weaver-Greenaway urged women to take advantage of getting the most cost-effective procedure that detects early changes in the cervix that could lead to cancer.
“If you do a Pap smear and there are changes to your cervical cells, then something can be done about it. Cervical cancer is one of the cancers that can be treated early and Pap smear is the single test that can lead to early cervical cancer detection,” she said.
Weaver-Greenaway asserted that the process is “very easy and pain-free”, and takes roughly 15 minutes to complete.
She advised that women who wish to have the screening should visit the APPA’s Bishopgate Street office two weeks after their monthly cycles — for those females who have regular periods —  or at any time for the women who have irregular cycles.
The sample is sent to Medpath Clinical Laboratory and results are returned to APPA after three weeks.
The patients should collect their results at APPA and if there are any abnormal findings then those women will see Dr. Marlene Joseph, who is assigned to the organisation. Referrals can also be made to the hospital or personal physicians.
Pap smears are conducted during the APPA’s regular hours of operation — between 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. — except on Thursdays when they will be done in the afternoons.

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