Ask the Doctor
November 12, 2013
Is it important to have a pap-smear annually?

Dear Doc,

If having a pap-smear every year is so important, why didn’t my doctor ask me if I had one or tell me to get one done annually?{{more}}


Dear Susan,

Your experience is not unusual. Many females visit their doctors multiple times a year for different medical reasons and are never asked if they are having regular pap-smears.

Reasons for this could be because the doctor doesn’t himself or herself do pap-smears and therefore shows no interest. Many doctors also will only focus on what the patient presents with; if you are there to see the doctor for your ears, then all focus is on your ears.

It is paramount that all encounters medical personnel have with patients we use the opportunity to get a proper medical history. The history allows us to know about the general health of the patient and also allows us to guide the patient in areas of their health that they might be neglecting. The more we ask patients about the status of their pap-smears the more they will understand their importance.


SVG Cancer Society,

P.O. Box 709, Kingstown.

Email: [email protected]