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The History of the Pap Smear Screening Test

The Pap Smear Test is most successful cancer screening technique in history of medicine. This is the history of the Pap Smear Test.

History of the Pap Smear Screening Test

Dr. George Papanicolaou

The Pap Smear Test is the most successful cancer screening technique in history. It was named after its inventor, Dr. George Nicholas Papanicolaou. Born in Kymi, Greece on May 13, 1883, George Papanicolaou had three siblings. His father, Nicholas, was a doctor. His mother, Maria, loved music and literature.

Young George entered the University of Athens in 1898 and majored in Music and Humanities. He then followed in his father's footsteps and attended medical school. After graduating with a perfect "A" average in 1904, Dr. Papanicolaou began his medical career in the Greek military as an Assistant Surgeon.

Dr. Papanicolaou left the military in 1906 and, after a brief stint caring for patients at a leper colony in Greece, he began postgraduate study at the Zoological Instate in Munich, where he received a Ph.D.

In 1914, Dr. Papanicolaou secured a position in the Anatomy Department at the Cornell University Medical School in New York. In 1920, he began his study of vaginal cytology (the study of the microscopic appearance of cells).

Over time, Dr. Papanicolaou became very familiar with the normal cytological changes that occur in cervical cells. This familiarity allowed him to make what he called one of the the most thrilling experiences of his scientific career; his first discovery of cancer cells in a smear from of the uterine cervix.

In 1928, Dr. Papanicolaou first presented his findings that uterine cancer could be diagnosed by means of vaginal smear in the paper, "New Cancer Diagnosis."

Over a decade passed before the collaboration between Dr. Herbert Traut, a gynecologist and pathologist, and Dr. Papanicolaou that would validate and scientifically prove the potential of the vaginal smear for the diagnosis of Cervical Cancer. Their collaboration involved the taking regular vaginal smears of all women patients at Cornell's Hospital. The study provided the basis of the book, "Diagnosis of Uterine Cancer by the Vaginal Smear."

In 1943, when "Diagnosis of Uterine Cancer by the Vaginal Smear" was published, Dr. Papanicolaou's work quickly became widely known and accepted. The book describes the process of preparing a cervical smear and the cytologic changes that are seen as cervical cells change from normal, to pre-cancerous, to cancer. Since World War II , the Pap Smear Test has become the most widely used cancer screening method in the world.

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Pap Smear and Cervical Cancer Malpractice

Table of Contents

(click on link to be taken to page)

The Most Common and Deadly Pap Cervical Cancer Mistakes

  • Cervical Cancer Malpractice Introduction
  • The Cervical Cancer Malpractice Case
  • Failure to Perform Regular Cervical Exams and Pap Smear Tests
  • Misread Pap Smear Test
  • Cervical Cancer Information

  • What is Cervical Cancer?
  • Risk Factors
  • Symptoms of Cervical Cancer
  • Pap Smear Screening Test
  • Confirmation of Cervical Cancer Diagnosis
  • Treatment of Cervical Cancer
  • Pap Smear Screening Test Information

  • Pap Smear Screening Test
  • Dr. George Papanicolaou and the History of the Pap Smear Test
  • Insufficient Pap Smear Screening
  • Pap Smear Screening Test
  • Confirmation of Cervical Cancer Diagnosis
  • Failure to Diagnose Cervical Cancer on Pap Smear
  • Cervical Cancer News Information Links

  • Cervical Cancer Information Links
  • Cervical Cancer News Links Blog



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