What is Cytotechnology?

Cytotechnology is an allied health profession that specializes in the study of human cell samples. Working with a microscope, the cytotechnologist examines these samples to detect the presence of infectious processes, benign and malignant tumors, and pre-cancerous conditions.

Dr. Papanicolau: Father of Modern Cytology

Dr. Papanicolau, the “Father of Modern Cytology”

The cytotechnologist traces the clues to disease or cancer in the cytoplasm and nucleus of cells that have been stained with special dyes. They look through thousands of cells for the smallest abnormalities in shape, size, and the staining reaction. All of the characteristics of the cells and cell pattern combined can be clues to these conditions.

When the cytotechnologist examines a non-gynecological specimen or an abnormal gynecologic specimen, he/she consults with a pathologist to arrive at an accurate diagnosis. Cytotechnologists issue the final report on negative gynecologic specimens.