Thin-layer cytology: The most comprehensive cytology smear test (Pap-Test)

Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer in women under 50. Cervical cancer develops slowly over the years. Regularly attending cancer screening tests will increase the chances of early detection of abnormal cell changes in the cervix.

The classic Pap smear
An important test in cancer screening is the cervical smear or PAP smear, named after George Nicolas Papanicolaou, a Greek-born doctor. In this test a sample of cells is taken from the cervix, smeared on to a glass slide, stained and looked at under a microscope.

Under the right conditions, this test ensures a relatively high level of security. However, in Germany alone, approx. 6.500 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer and 80,000 women with preliminary stage cancer. This is primarily due to the suboptimal preparation of the cellular material. Cells with abnormal changes are not recognised as they are overlaid by other cells, or blood or mucus. False findings are quite common.

 

 

More safety thanks to new thin-layer cytology

The thin-layer cytology was developed to reduce the problems associated with the conventional Pap test. Just like with the conventional Pap test, a smear is taken, but then added to a container with a preservative solution. This way, all cells are preserved for assessment.

The preserved sample is prepared in a special laboratory in multiple technical processes and clean of blood, mucus, and inflammatory cells. Subsequently, the cellular material is evenly distributed on the slide in a thin layer. The cellular smear  is much more effective than the conventional Pap test and thus recommended for the early detection of abnormal cell changes.

 

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