Before the Pap smear was introduced in the 1940s by George Papanicolaou, after whom it was named, cervical cancer was the No. 1 killer of women in the United States. Now, the Pap smear has become a routine gynecological screening. For example, the Pap test can detect abnormal cell growth, the presence of the human papillomavirus virus (HPV), as well as other conditions like cervical cancer. Yale Medicine Pathology offers specialized expertise in the interpretation of Pap tests.