Cytotechnology is the microscopic study of cells which have been shed, scraped, or aspirated from body tissues. A cytotechnologist is a highly skilled laboratory professional. These specialists prepare samples obtained from various body areas for examination by using staining techniques which make the specimen more visible. Cytotechnologists are trained to recognize minute abnormalities in the color, size, and shape of the cell structures.
The cytotechnologist is responsible for the first microscopic evaluation of the cytologic material, determining the presence or absence of abnormal or malignant cells, and providing a preliminary diagnosis in cases which warrant further evaluation by a pathologist. As a result of cytolgic findings, physicians are often able to diagnose and treat cancer before symptoms occur or before it can be detected by other methods.