Smear Test And Cancer Of Cervix; Its Utility And Futility

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

taking a Pap smear; a speculum is used to gather cells from the outer opening of the cervix of the uterus and the end cervix. The cells are examined under a microscope to look for histological abnormalities. The main aim of this test is to detect potentially pre cancerous changes called cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN). These are also called cervical dysplasia and cervical interstitial neoplasia. How powerful the smear test tool is to detect and identify malignant cells? There are many misconceptions and fallacies about this test among the people. This is not a cancer test at tall. This is not cancer diagnosis test. This is simply a screening test not more than that. Once upon a time cervix cancer was leading cause of cancer deaths of women. Even now its fatality can not be undermined by any means. Cervical cancer is still the leading cause of cancer deaths in women in many third world countries. Although its incidence and prevalence, in developed counties like America,
has much decreased and waned, yet its frequency is very common among woman in the age group of twenty and thirty.. There are still about 16,000 new cases of cervix cancer that are diagnosed each year in the USA, with about 5,000 deaths. According to one research report estimation about 85% of cervical cancers are squamous cell cancers It is worh mentioning here that Miss Goody, who made her name on the reality TV show Big Brother, died from cervical cancer in March 2009, aged 27.
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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Article Written By ANANDBLISS

professor of psychology and parapsychology and writing on issues concerning human nature and illness

Last updated on 26-07-2016 1K 0

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