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Saving Lives: The PAP’s Test History

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   George N. Papanicolaou, M.D., Life and Career: The way to the Pap Test, Hellenic Medical Society of New York, New York, 2008.  Many women owe their lives to a physician who gave his name to the famous “pap-smear,” a test preventing uterine cancer. The pathologist’s name is George Papanicolaou (1883- 1962).  Son of a physician, Papanicolaou studied medicine following his father’s will. Having met Greek-American soldiers on the battlefield of the 1912 Balkan war, he pursued a research career in the United States.   In 1928, Papanicolaou discovered that uterine and cervical cancer could be detected by microscopically examining cells from tissue surfaces.  It took decades for medical science to recognize the significance of Papanicolaou’s test which was first recommended in 1960, two years before Papanicolaou’s death.   Over the years, millions of women have taken the Pap test and deaths from uterine cancer have been greatly reduced due to this examination.   The Society published the book in memory of Dr. Papanicolaou, founder and first president of HMSNY in 1936.   Weill Cornell Medical College: The George Papanicolaou MD papers