Doctor obtaining a cervical smear

Doctor obtaining a cervical smear

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Caption: Doctor obtaining a cervical smear. He is holding a plastic spatula over a jar of water that will be used to lubricate the spatula. He will insert the spatula into the woman's vagina to scrape a specimen of cellular material from the neck (cervix) of the uterus. The extracted specimen of cells is then smeared onto a slide and examined in a laboratory. This procedure is also known as a pap test. Cells that appear abnormal may indicate developing cervical disease or cancer. This is a modern, brush-like plastic spatula. Traditionally, wooden spatulas were used to obtain cervical smears.

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