A 27-year-old member asked:
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What is a pap smear?

1 doctor answer
Dr. Ed Friedlander
43 years experience in Pathology
Screen for cancer: Named for its discoverer george papanicolaou, cells from the cervix of the uterus are smeared onto a glass slide, stained, and examined under the microscope for cancer or precancer ("dysplasia"; "intraepithelial lesion"). This enables detection of the vast majority of cervical cancers -- once the greatest cancer killer of young women -- while still easy to cure.
Answered on Oct 9, 2017
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4 comments
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Dr. Gurmukh Singh
48 years experience in Pathology
In addition to microscopic examination of cells, testing for HPV is important in predicting the future behavior of the lesions, if any.
Jan 26, 2012
Dr. Ed Friedlander
43 years experience in Pathology
Provided original answer
Dr. Singh is correct, and HPV testing may eventually replace, in addition to supplementing, the pap test.
Jan 27, 2012
Dr. Chakshu Gupta
22 years experience in Pathology
Agree with both Dr. Friedlander and Dr. Singh, but HPV is not tested off the smear but rather from the cells obtained during the procedure.
Feb 3, 2012

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