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Article
September 15, 1956

POPULATION SCREENING FOR UTERINE CANCER BY VAGINAL CYTOLOGYPRELIMINARY SUMMARY OF RESULTS OF FIRST EXAMINATION OF 108,000 WOMEN AND SECOND TESTING OF 33,000 WOMEN

JAMA. 1956;162(3):167-173. doi:10.1001/jama.1956.02970200015004
Abstract

• The method of exfoliative cytology introduced by Papanicolaou and Traut was applied to material obtained by vaginal aspiration from 108,000 women in Shelby County (including Memphis), Tennessee, for the purpose of detecting various types and stages of carcinoma. The preparations for this large-scale screening program necessarily included an extensive educational campaign and required the cooperation of many organizations. Results were reported to the physician who obtained the smears; he in turn informed the woman tested. A woman whose smears showed suspicious cells was advised to have this examination repeated and to have tissue studies in addition. Of the 108,000 women, 33,000 were examined a second time and more than 8,000 a third time.

The program so far has resulted in the finding of 393 intraepithelial carcinomas, of which 353 had not been suspected, and 373 invasive uterine cancers, of which 112 had not been suspected. The program is also expected to yield new data on etiological factors and on the relation of preinvasive to intraepithelial lesions.

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