ASCUS Pap Results
Dysplasia Evaluation and Treatment

ASCUS Pap test results indicate that there were abnormal squamous cells found (squamous cells are the type that cover most of the normal cervix). However, the cells could be abnormal from a number of causes (irritation, infection, hormones and others). Most of the time, the abnormality will resolve on its own, but sometimes it will persist and may prove to be precancerous (or, very rarely, cancer).

What's Next? The Options:

Option 1 : Wait and watch - Since most of the time the problem goes away without treatment, one option is to do another Pap test in 4-6 months and see how things are going. If the ASCUS result persists, further evaluation can be done at that time. Women at risk for cervical cancer, including women with HIV, are less often given this option.

Option 2 : Colposcopy, with biopsy if necessary - This option has the advantage of relieving a woman's mind if the results are normal, with no need for a sooner-than-usual repeat Pap test. It also has the advantage of finding dysplasia if it is there. The drawback is that most of the time, the results are normal, which produces a lot of unnecessary tests.

Option 3 : HPV Testing - The most recent recommendation is for women with ASCUS Pap test results to be tested for oncogenic forms of HPV. Since only about 50% of ASCUS Pap results are caused by precancerous changes, this prevents unnecessary procedures and makes it more likely that the women who have dysplasia will be properly followed.

Return to Beginning of Dysplasia Guide
Go to Colposcopy and Biopsy Page of Guide
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