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Anal Cancer Tests – PAP smear test

The PAP smear test has helped save a number of lives. It has been one of the best ways to test cervical cancer amongst women and has served as a lease for life for those who have detected their cancer at an early age. The anal papilloma screening also known as an Anal PAP can prove to be as effective is detecting anal cancer amongst men.
It is being touted as the best way for men who are straight or bisexual to check whether they may be inflicted by the deadly condition. It is very similar to the exam that is conducted for women. It requires a collection of cells from the rectum and anus of the patient at first. These cells are then examined under a microscope to check if they have undergone any structural changes. If there are any changes there may be reason to worry, however it is good as it is an indicator that proper treatment should be started at the earliest.
The Anal PAP procedure is absolutely painless, quick and very simple. A Dacron swab is used to collect cell samples around the area of the rectum and anus. The anal canal is swabbed off some cell samples to continue with analyzing the change in cell structure. Once the cell samples are collected they are sent to a lab where technicians examine the cells with the help of a microscope and try to pin point changes in the cell structure that indicate cancer. The results however may take a few days.
If you are experiencing the symptoms of anal cancer and your doctor has advised you to go in for an anal PAP, you may have to pay attention to the following to ensure your tests come out right. A day prior to the anal PAP you should practice the following don’ts :
a) Do not indulge in anal sex
b) Do not put any kind of ointments, creams, medications or lubricants in or around your anus
c) Stay away from sex toys and do not get excited 24 hours before your examination
d) Do not take enemas or douche
It is essential that one stays abreast of one’s health and therefore one should not wait until it’s too late to get an anal PAP done. An exam once in every three years can help detect and treat the cancer at an early age. In case there is a certain abnormality that surfaces as a part of the test the supervising physician can take care of these abnormalities by suggesting various non surgical treatments. A few of them are listed below:

Imiquimod: The abnormality detected can be treated with a topical agent called imiquimod. However this may have limited effect as it tends to rub off easily.
Onyx-015: This procedure is still under clinical trials, however it is said that this recombinant adenovirus has the power to kill the cells in the anal cavity that are infected with HPV.
Therapeutic Vaccines: Your physician will only recommend this route to treat the abnormality if you have a strong immune system.
These are just a few treatments that your physician may advise if some abnormality is detected. However you should ensure that you undergo an anal PAP once every three years if you want to stay healthy for a longer period of time by early detection and treatment of a condition that can take away precious years from your life.

So go in for regular examinations and checks and stay careful at all times. Make sure the physician you consult is the best and can offer you only the best advise and treatments.

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