The Pap in Smear
February 19, 1962 - Georgios Papanikolaou died on this day. He was the Greek-born doctor who in 1928 figured out that cervical and uterine cancer could be easily detected using a vaginal smear. Unfortunately, it would take over 30 years before his invention of the "Pap smear" would get the recognition and widespread use that it merited.
In 1960 the American Medical Association finally saw the light and recommended that the Pap smear become a regular test for all women aged 18 to 65.
Papanikolaou died two years later and he never saw the tremendous impact his discovery had. In the years since the Pap smear has become a routine procedure, fatal cases of cervical cancer have plummeted 99% and millions of women have lived longer lives.