Welcome to the State of California 

What you should know about Pap tests

A Pap test is a simple, painless test to check for any abnormal cells on a woman's cervix.

A Pap test is done in a doctor's office. It takes only a few seconds. The doctor uses a tiny brush to wipe some cells off the cervix. The cells are put on a slide and sent to a lab where they are checked.

Cancer Detection Programs: Every Woman Counts covers the following services regarding Pap tests:

  • Women age 25 and older who qualify for free cervical cancer screening with Cancer Detection Programs: Every Woman Counts may receive a Pap test every year. If the Pap test is normal three years in a row then the doctor may decide that the Pap test can be repeated every three years instead of every year.
  • Cancer Detection Programs: Every Woman Counts also pays for Pap tests after hysterectomies for program eligible women if the hysterectomy showed evidence of cervical cancer.

The American Cancer Society makes the following cervical cancer screening recommendations to women:

  • A woman should start getting yearly Pap tests at the age of 21 or three years after she starts having sex, whichever comes first.
  • Starting at the age of 30 a woman should talk to her doctor about how often to get a Pap test. Some women age 30 and older only need a Pap test every two or three years.
  • Women who have gone through menopause still need to get a Pap test.
  • Women who have had a hysterectomy should talk to their doctor about their need for getting a Pap test.

Cancer Detection Programs: Every Woman Counts offers free pelvic exams and Pap tests to women age 25 and older. To see if you qualify for these free tests call 1-800-511-2300 Monday - Friday from 8:30 AM to 5 PM.  We speak English, Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin, Korean and Vietnamese. 

Last modified on: 1/23/2008 11:41 PM