The Bethesda System (TBS)
The Bethesda system (TBS) of classifying Pap tests was developed by the United States National Cancer Institute (NCI) to provide more detailed information about Pap test results. When lab specialists examine cervical cells, they use this system to report the lab results to doctors.
Your doctor receives the report from the lab. The report tells your doctor if the cell sample taken during the exam was good enough to be evaluated. It also lets your doctor know if the cells were normal or abnormal or if there was an infection present.
If the cells were abnormal, they are put in categories, or typed, based on how severe the problem is:
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