Q:

What does Pap smear stand for?

A:

Quick Answer

According to a Cornell University Web page, the Pap smear, or Pap test, is named after Dr. Papanicolaou, known as Dr. Pap, who became a member of the university's Department of Anatomy in 1914. Papanicolaou developed the Pap smear.

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Full Answer

This source explains that by 1946, the Pap smear gained traction in hospitals and began to be used as a method of detecting cervical cancer. The Pap smear was beneficial not only in detecting this cancer but also in detecting vaginal cancers and cancers of the endometrium and the fallopian tubes. The Pap smear has contributed to the dramatic reduction in the death rate of cervical cancer patients since the 1940s. At the time of the Pap smear's introduction, cervical cancer killed more women than any other illness.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What instruments are used for a pap smear?

    A:

    The Medical Center of the University of Rochester explains that a speculum, cervical brush and a glass slide are used during a pap smear along with a preserving solution. The metal or plastic speculum is inserted into the vagina and opens the walls to make the cervix accessible to perform the test. The cervical brush collects cervical cells from the inner and outer surfaces of the cervix.

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  • Q:

    Does a pap smear hurt?

    A:

    A pap smear is not expected to hurt, but some women have reported that they sometimes cause discomfort and pressure, as stated by Kidshealth. A pap smear is a procedure that is used to find out if there is any problem in a woman's cervix.

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  • Q:

    Does a Pap smear indicate pregnancy?

    A:

    The results of a Pap smear do not indicate whether a woman is pregnant. A Pap smear examines the cells of the cervix for signs of cervical cancer or the presence of abnormal cells that may indicate the need for additional testing for gynecological problems, such as infections and some sexually transmitted diseases.

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  • Q:

    How long does it take to get the results from a Pap smear?

    A:

    It can take up to three weeks for a provider to receive the results of a Pap test back from the lab, according to WebMD. Normal results indicate that there is no need for further testing, while abnormal results require follow-up testing.

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