Thursday, September 18, 2008


A cytotechnologist (CT) is a laboratory specialist who is responsible for examining human cell samples under the microscope for early signs of cancer and other diseases. The cytotechnologist analyzes subtle cell changes–both nuclear and cytoplasmic–and compares these changes to normal cell findings for that body site.

The cytotechnologist must be familiar with normal anatomy and histology for all the body systems and must be familiar with the disease processes that can affect these body sites. By comparing these facts with the clinical history provided for the patient, the cytotechnologist can judge the significance of the cell findings observed.

The cytotechnologist can issue the final report for certain specimens that are normal; when abnormal cells are present, the cytotechnologist works with the pathologist to arrive at a final diagnosis. Cytotechnologists work independently with little supervision.

They must be patient, precise, and have relatively good eyesight. Above all, the cytotechnologist must enjoy making decisions and taking responsibility, because their correct analysis of microscopic cellular changes can directly affect a patient’s course of treatment and may save the patient’s life by early detection of cancer.

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