What is Cytology?
Cytology is the science that studies cells. It is also commonly known as laboratory tests to determine abnormalities in cells in a certain area of the body.
In biology, cytology is known in turn by the name of cell biology. The cell is defined as the base unit of life by Robert Remak (1815-1865) in 1830, who would define the first postulate of Cell Theory.
On the other hand, cytology is used in medicine to refer to tests that are done on tissue samples in certain areas of the body. These samples are generally extracted with the technique known as exfoliative cytology and can be performed in the oral cavity, the lungs, the bladder or in the stomach.
Cytologies serve as a form of prevention, since the detection of cancer in its early stages is one of the keys to successfully combat it.
Cytology and cell biology
Cytology, also called cell biology or cell biochemistry, is aimed at studying the cell. In this sense, cell biology and cytology are synonyms and can be used alternately.
Cytology is based on the 3 basic postulates of Cell Theory established in 1855 and which stipulates the following:
- The cell is the base unit of life
- All life is made up of cells
- All cells come from a pre-existing
Exfoliative cytology is the technique used to obtain the sample of cells necessary for its diagnosis. In the conventional PAP exam, for example, cells from the cervix are scraped. The PAP, or pap smear, is a uterine cancer prevention test.
Exfoliative cytology is the most common way to extract samples for the diagnosis of abnormal or pre-cancer cells, such as:
- Oncological exfoliative cytology: focuses on the detection of cancer in early stages.
- Cervical exfoliative cytology: aims to detect abnormal cells in the cervix