WHAT IS PAP SMEAR?
Pap smear is a revolutionary investigation to screen women for cancer of the cervix and/or dysplasia. From 1943 when it was introduced by Papanicolaou, it has brought down the mortality from cervical cancer to a great degree.
WHY IS IT DONE?
HOW IS IT DONE?
The commonest method is to collect cells directly from the cervix. A wooden spatula, typically shaped, is applied with light pressure to the cervix and rotated 360º. The material obtained is smeared on a glass slide and fixed immediately. A trained cytologist later examines the smears. It is done as a office procedure and there is no need for any preparation.
WHAT ALL A PAP SMEAR CAN SHOW?
Pap smear can diagnose right from Carcinoma-in situ (stage before a clinically apparent lesion appears) to fully invasive cancer. The findings can be divided in 5 categories
SHOULD ALL WOMEN DO IT?
All sexually active girls/ women or all women over 30 should do it yearly, for first 3 years and if all normal can skip a year thereafter.
WHAT IS THE RELIABILITY OF PAP SMEAR?
The reliability depends upon the efficient preparation and preservation of the slide and skill of the cytologist. The accuracy of the smear in cancer is almost 100%