Skip to Content

Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer CenterVanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center


VICC toll-free number 1-877-936-8422

Pap Test


Pap test

A procedure in which a small brush or spatula is used to gently remove cells from the cervix so they can be checked under a microscope for cervical cancer or cell changes that may lead to cervical cancer. A Pap test may also help find other conditions, such as infections or inflammation. It is sometimes done at the same time as a pelvic exam and may also be done at the same time as a test for certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV). Also called Pap smear and Papanicolaou test.

Last updated: 2015-08-12

Source: The National Cancer Institute's Dictionary of Cancer Terms (