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Dictionary of Cancer Terms

View in Spanish: Prueba de Papanicolaou

Papanicolaou test (PA-puh-NIH-koh-low)
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 Papanicolaou test can also show conditions, such as infection or inflammation, that are not cancer. Also called Pap smear and Pap test.

Source: National Cancer Institute Dictionary of Cancer Terms, available at www.cancer.gov/dictionary.