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In 1928, after spending months observing his own wife’s cervical cells under a microscope, Dr. George Papanicolaou invented the Pap smear as a method to detect cervical cancer. His discovery has stood the test of time. And Dr. Papianicolaou can be credited with the fact that cervical cancer is now a rare cause of death in the United States in spite of the fact that it remains the leading cause of death in countries where Pap smears are not routinely done. (Though it seems Mary Papanicolaou should get at least some of the credit after submitting to countless Pap smears to support her husband’s research!)
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