The utility of smear (cervical smear, pap smear) lies in being a screening test allowing doctors to predict those women who are likely to develop cancer of the neck of the womb (carcinoma of the cervix) in time to prevent it developing. And the futility of this screening test lies in being not so accurate and efficacious a test to confirm the cancer as scientific truth
This test is known by various names as Pap smear, Pap test, cervical smear or smear test. It is a screening test used in gynecology to detect pre malignant and malignant growths. In
The Human Papiloma Virus (HPV) is said to be the cause of squamous cell cancers. HPV is transmitted sexually by illicit sex activity or adulterous behavior .Once upon a time the smear test was very popular for diagnosis and detection of cervix cancer. In its initial phase, it was advocated with much enthusiasm by doctors among woman. Every woman was routinely screened for this test. As far as detection of cancer cells is concerned this test has outlived its utility and is no reliable test by any means. Neither it confirms nor does it rejects malingnancy. This test has done more harm than good. Without confirmation and diagnosis of cancer it creates rather vague suspicion in the minds of patients. They may start suffering from anticipatory anxiety from its vagueness. After taking pap test on a woman further examination is necessary to confirm cancer. An abnormal pap test is not a diagnosis in itself. It is only abnormal screening test that must be evaluated further.
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