Definition of Pap test

Pap test: A screening test for cervical cancer that involves the microscopic examination of cells collected from the cervix, smeared on a slide, and specially stained. A Pap test can reveal premalignant and malignant changes in the cells, as well as changes that are due to noncancerous conditions, such as inflammation. Named after the physician George Papanicolaou, who developed the test. Also known as Pap smear.


Last Editorial Review: 3/19/2012

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