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Jeff Anderson lab offers new Pap test

By Staff
SCREENING Cytotechnologist Linda Prescott checks cervical samples collected with the ThinPrep Pap test, a new service offered by Jeff Anderson Regional Medical Center's laboratory. Photo by Steve Gillespie/The Meridian Star
By Steve Gillespie/The Meridian Star
Nov. 4, 2001
New Pap test technology is available to area physicians at Jeff Anderson Regional Medical Center's laboratory.
For 50 years, the Pap smear test has been used to screen women for cervical cancer. Although credited with a 70 percent decline in disease-related deaths, some of the traditional method's limitations are overcome with the newer ThinPrep Pap test, according to Anna Coleman, a cytotechnologist at Jeff Anderson.
The ThinPrep Pap test, although new to Jeff Anderson, was approved by the Federal Drug Administration several years ago.
Rather than smearing the cervical sample onto a microscope slide, the physician rinses the sample into a vial of preservative solution, capturing virtually the entire sample.
As much as 80 percent of cells are discarded in samples collected with the smear technique, Coleman said, and precancerous may be lost. She also said cells are sometimes jumbled on the smeared samples on slides, and the samples are subject to some air drying.
The solution used with the ThinPrep Pap test separates the cells so that they can be seen better through a microscope.
Coleman said the lab at Jeff Anderson will continue doing the conventional Pap smear test, "But we want to be able to give the physicians the best test available."
Steve Gillespie is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. Call him at 693-1551, ext. 3233, or e-mail him at sgillespie@themeridianstar.com.

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