Papanicolaou smear

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Also called Pap smear, ot is a procedure to detect cancer and precancerous conditions of the female genital tract, which is the screening test of the National Cervical Screening Program. During a Pap test, cells are collected from the transformation zone of the cervix—the area of the cervix where the squamous cells from the outer opening of the cervix and glandular cells from the endocervical canal meet. This is the site where most cervical abnormalities and cancers are detected. For conventional cytology, these cells are transferred onto a slide, and sent to a pathology laboratory for assessment. Collected cells are then examined under a microscope to look for abnormalities.


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