Pap Smear

   The Pap test, a stain-analysis technique for identifying atypical cells and malignancy in cervical-tissue smears, was the invention of George Nicholas Papanicolaou (1883-1962). In the test he devised, a small spatula is inserted into the vagina to remove fluid mixed with urine cells. The fluid is dyed, spread on a glass slide, and examined under a microscope. Papanicolaou was born in Greece and received a medical degree at Athens and a doctorate in biology at Munich. He immigrated to America in 1914 and became a teacher of medicine. He held a position in pathology at New York Hospital and concurrently taught anatomy at Cornell Medical College. Toward the end of his life he directed the Miami Cancer Institute, which after his death was renamed in his honor. The medical profession was slow to accept his test, the research for which .was begun in the 1920s. It was not until 1942 that a monograph Papanicolaou wrote with Herbert Traut, Diagnosis of Uterine Cancer by the Vaginal Smear, changed clinical opinion to his favor by demonstrating the value of early detection.
   Today the Pap smear is a routine screening test, and is credited with substantially reducing the mortality rate of uterine and cervical cancer.

Dictionary of eponyms. . 2013.

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  • Pap smear — UK / US or Pap test UK / US noun [countable] Word forms Pap smear : singular Pap smear plural Pap smears American a cervical smear …   English dictionary

  • Pap smear — pap n a method or a test based on it for the early detection of cancer esp. of the uterine cervix that involves staining exfoliated cells by a special technique which differentiates diseased tissue called also Papanicolaou smear, Papanicolaou… …   Medical dictionary

  • pap smear — pap smears also pap test N COUNT A pap smear is a medical test in which cells are taken from a woman s cervix and analysed to see if any cancer cells are present. [AM] (in BRIT, use smear) …   English dictionary

  • Pap smear — Pap ,smear or Pap ,test noun count AMERICAN a medical test in which cells are taken from a woman s CERVIX to check for cancer. British cervical smear …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • Pap smear — n [Date: 1900 2000; Origin: George N. Papanicolaou (1883 1962), U.S. (Greek born) medical scientist] AmE a medical test that takes cells from a woman s ↑cervix and examines them for signs of ↑cancer British Equivalent: smear test …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Pap smear — noun a sample of secretions and superficial cells of the uterine cervix and uterus; examined with a microscope to detect any abnormal cells • Syn: ↑cervical smear, ↑Papanicolaou smear • Hypernyms: ↑smear, ↑cytologic smear, ↑cytosmear • …   Useful english dictionary

  • Pap smear — or Papanicolaou smear Sample of cells from the vagina and cervix of the uterus for laboratory staining and examination to detect genital herpes and early stage cancer, especially of the cervix. Developed by the Greek born U.S. physician George… …   Universalium

  • Pap smear — /ˈpæp smɪə / (say pap smear) noun a medical test in which a smear of a bodily secretion, especially from the cervix or vagina, is used to detect cancer in an early stage or to evaluate hormonal condition; cervical smear. Also, pap smear.… …   Australian English dictionary

  • Pap smear — A procedure in which cells are scraped from the cervix for examination under a microscope. It is used to detect cancer and changes that may lead to cancer. A Pap smear can also show noncancerous conditions, such as infection or inflammation. Also …   English dictionary of cancer terms

  • Pap smear — noun Pap smear is used before these nouns: ↑test …   Collocations dictionary

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