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?
The purpose of the Pap test is to
detect changes that may lead to cervical cancer much before cancer develops. Pre-cancer of
the cervix is easily treated, and almost always prevents cancer from developing. Pap smear
is the best and most reliable method for cytological diagnosis of cervical cancer.
Changes may be seen as early as 10
years before actual cancer is to manifest
Early changes can be treated with
It is the most important tool in cancer
check up in women JE HealthCheck
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
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