Skip to Main Content



The cytotechnology field began in the 1940s, more than 10 years after Dr. George N. Papanicolaou, a Greek-American physician, developed a procedure for early diagnosis of cancer of the cervix in 1928, now known as the "Pap smear." This test involved collecting cell samples by scraping the cervixes of female patients, placing them on glass slides, staining them, and examining them under a microscope to detect cell differences and abnormalities. As the value of the test became more widely accepted, the demand for trained personnel to read the Pap smears grew, and the career of cytotechnologist was born. This field has expanded to include the examination of cell specimens taken from the bladder, lung, breast, salivary glands, and other areas of the body.

Related Professions