Physis: Revista de Saúde Coletiva
On-line version ISSN 1809-4481
TEIXEIRA, Luiz Antonio; PORTO, Marco Antonio Teixeira and SOUZA, Letícia Pumar Alves de. The expansion of screening for cervix cancer and the training of cytotechnologists in Brazil. Physis [online]. 2012, vol.22, n.2, pp.713-731. ISSN 1809-4481. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0103-73312012000200017.
The paper discusses the emergence of the professional category of cytotechnologists in Brazil and its history from the 1970s and late 1990s. At the beginning of this period, the Pan American Health Organization considered cervix cancer as a serious public health problem, which can be controlled in developing countries. In this context, arose the first campaigns tracking the disease in the country. The institutionalization of these campaigns made the cytotechnologists indispensable for the disease control. With the expansion of demand for its activity and the emergence of the first initiatives for its formation, new issues begin to emerge. How these new professionals could be trained in adequate quantity and quality? What is the appropriate curriculum to their duties and responsibilities? How to monitor the functioning of the courses? In the field of standardization of the new activity, other questions arise: how to secure a monopoly on the activity performed, how to characterize their specificity, which required training to those who will exercise it? These points become topics of debates and negotiations, a typical process of consolidating a new profession. The process of institutionalization of the program of prevention of cancer of the cervix and the consequent need for quality assurance tests performed have made these issues return to the limelight. This study aims to contribute to the expansion of knowledge about the formation of cytotechnologists, and the more general context, the process of health training in Brazil.
Keywords : cervix cancer; Pap smear; screening programs; health technologists.