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Smear for Malignant Cells, Sputum

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Malignant cells are abnormal cells which divide continuously thereby invading the tissues nearby. These are cancerous cells and can also spread to other parts of the body through blood and lymph.

What is Smear for Malignant Cells, Sputum?

This refers to the close examination of sputum under high power microscope for malignant/cancerous cells. Sputum cytology helps to diagnose other conditions like pneumonia, lung cancer, asthma or tuberculosis. Although, the test detects malignant cells in sputum it does not give the location of cancer.

Why is Smear for Malignant Cells, Sputum suggested?

There are several reasons as to why the doctor might order the test-

  • Persistent cough.
  • Shortage of breath.
  • Lung pain.
  • Abnormality in CT scan.
  • Exposure to TB.
How is Smear for Malignant Cells, Sputum performed?

Examination of sputum is now not confined to special clinics. During the test-

  • You are asked to cough in a container forcefully.
  • Taking deep breaths help to expectorate from deep within the chest.
  • Sample might be collected several times as there are chances of getting saliva instead of sputum.

Sputum cytology may also be done using bronchoscopy.

What are the parameters measured in Smear for Malignant Cells, Sputum?

The sample collected is observed under a microscope after staining and other techniques to define what is being seen. The test checks the polymorphs’(neutrophils & eosinophils) count

Preparation before performing Smear for Malignant Cells, Sputum.

Some special instructions to be followed are-

  • On the day of the test, rinse your mouth thoroughly. Avoid using toothpaste.
  • Blow your nose prior to the test to minimize the upper airway drainage.
Post care after Smear for Malignant Cells, Sputum.

Care needs to be taken depending on the test results.

Sample types in Smear for Malignant Cells, Sputum.

Sample types are dependent on the count of polymorphs.

Side effects/risks of Smear for Malignant Cells, Sputum.

Since the test requires coughing up sputum, it might be comfortable and can cause coughing ‘jags’ for people with lung disease.

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