The Papanikolaou test (abbreviated as Pap test, known earlier as Pap smear, cervical smear, or smear test) is a method of cervical screening used to detect potentially pre-cancerous and cancerous processes in the endocervical canal (transformation zone) of the female reproductive system. Unusual findings are often followed up by more sensitive diagnostic procedures, and, if warranted, interventions that aim to prevent progression to cervical cancer. The test was invented by and named after the prominent Greek doctor, Georgios Papanikolaou.
Why It Is Done
A Pap test is done to look for changes in the cells of the cervix. Finding these changes and treating them when needed will greatly lower your chance of getting cervical cancer.