Cytology (also known as cytopathology) involves examining cells from bodily tissues or fluids to
determine a diagnosis. A certain kind of physician, called a pathologist, will look at the cells in the
tissue sample under a microscope and look for characteristics or abnormalities in the cells. Since
cytology only examines cells, which are so tiny, pathologists only need a very small sample of tissue to
do a cytology test.
Healthcare providers use cytology in many different areas of medicine, but cytology tests are most
commonly used to screen for or diagnose cancer.
There are two main kinds, or branches, of cytology: exfoliative cytology and intervention cytology.
Healthcare providers can use cytology tests for almost all areas of your body. Some common types of
cytology tests include:
- Gynecologic cytology.
- Urinary cytology.
- Breast cytology.
- Thyroid cytology.
- Lymph node cytology.
- Respiratory cytology.
- Eye cytology.
- Ear cytology.