Mary Holford writes that she first experienced an abnormal Pap test when she was a teenager. The experience made her aware of how important it is that all women have access to the Pap screening. She writes:

Women’s health is something that doesn’t get talked about enough but it’s an important topic and I want to share some things. Pap tests (also called Pap smears) can be lifesaving for women to test for precancerous and cancerous cells that can be caused by HPV. Before the pap screening existed, cervical cancer was the #1 killer among women. Now it is #14.

New proposed changes to the guidelines could eliminate the Pap and leave women vulnerable to incomplete testing. Not getting these tests done regularly can be detrimental for some women. As a teenager, I had my first abnormal Pap test.

During the following couple of years I had colposcopies to remove precancerous cells from my cervix. I am lucky because they were detected early enough and my immune system eventually cleared the virus causing them. Even so, I have always made sure to get the screening on time. Having access to this testing at the recommended intervals is crucial for ALL women so they can have a good outcome. No guidelines should be able to take that away from us.