Q&A of the Week: How Dangerous is AGUS?
Rena writes, in the Forum: I have had regular, once a year pap smears for the past 19 years and they've all come back normal. Except this year's. Three weeks ago my pap came back AGUS, more "ominous", I realize than ASCUS. My question is this: does AGUS always indicate pre-cancer or cancer? If AGUS cells progress more quickly into cancer than ASCUS, how quickly is that? I am going in for my colposcopy/biopsy, etc. tomorrow and only recently found this forum. Docs and techs not awfully helpful. Their response has either been gloom and doom or "aw, don't worry". But, I would appreciate more info.
Hi, Rena -
I understand your anxiety, but really, you are probably fine. Most AGUS (same as AGCUS) results are from things that are nothing to worry about, or which can be easily treated. It sounds as though you are in good hands, because your doctor knew to follow up with a colposcopy and biopsy without waiting - I have heard of women who didn't get this immediate follow-up. But the reason they do this is IN CASE of a pre-cancerous or cancerous lesion - IT PROBABLY ISN'T. There are a lot of conditions that can cause AGUS results - polyps, infections, or just irritation of some sort. That's what the "US" means - "undetermined significance". The thing is that with ASCUS, they are usually a bit more casual about it, because squamous cell lesions tend to develop more slowly than those in glandular cells. But in both cases, it's usually no big deal.
Best wishes to you, and please let us know how it goes!
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