SATURN STILLS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SATURN STILLS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Cervical smear equipment. Kidney dish containing a metal vaginal speculum and wooden vaginal spatula, the equipment used in a cervical smear test. During the test, the warmed speculum is inserted into the patient's vagina and opened out, widening the passage. This allows the doctor to take a sam- ple of cells from the cervix (the neck of the womb) with the spatula. The sample is then smeared onto a slide and sent to a laboratory to check for abnormal cells, which might indicate cancer. Cer- vical smears are routine tests that make early detection of cancer possible, which improves the chance of cure when the disease is found.
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