|Cervical Dysplasia - Evaluation and Treatment|
by Laura Dolson
So you've done the Pap thing, the "feet in the stirrups" thing, the "I can't wait until this is over" thing. And you're hoping, as always, that you won't see that table again for another year. But it is not to be. There's the voice on your answering machine from the Doctor's office - the Pap test came back abnormal.
In Dysplasia 101, we talked about what dysplasia is, and learned to understand all the different terms. Now we will discuss the diagnosis and treatment of cervical dysplasia. Before we begin, here are some key points to keep in mind:
A Pap Result is NOT a Diagnosis
The Pap test is a screening test only. It gives us a hint that something may be wrong, by finding abnormal cells. BUT a) cells can be abnormal for a number of reasons, many of them having nothing to do with cancer or dysplasia, and b) a small sampling of cells cannot tell us the extent and depth of the dysplasia. Only further evaluation can accomplish this.
Mild Dysplasia is NOT an alarming Diagnosis
Some researchers are now thinking that some CIN 1 (mild dysplasia) should actually be put in separate category. This is because the majority of CIN 1 seems to be self-limiting, and resolves to normal without treatment. There is speculation that this type of dysplasia may be triggered by less oncogenic strains of HPV.
Screening and Treatment Protocols Vary by Country
In Finland, screening does not begin until age 30, to avoid unnecessary treatment. In the UK, LEEP is called LLETZ. In the US, LLETZ is sometimes described as a sub-type of LEEP. There are many other differences in terminology and approach. This guide is based on protocols in the US, for the most part.
How to Use this Guide
This guide begins with the various abnormal Pap results, and follows through the various options possible at each step. To start using it, click on one of the Pap results below, and then follow through page by page. If you get off the track by following another link (to, for example, a glossary term) hit your browser back button until you come to a page with a blue subtitle like this: Dysplasia Evaluation and Treatment. Then continue on from there. The "Return to Introduction" link at the bottom of each page brings you back to this page.
Alternatively, you can go directly to the test, diagnosis, or procedure you are interested in from the violet sidebar.
Dysplasia Evaluation and Treatment Guide
The Pap Results (Starting Point; Choose One)
ASCUS - Atypical Squamous Cells of Undetermined Significance
AGUS - Atypical Glandular Cells of Undetermined Significance
LSIL - Low Grade Squamous Intraepithelial Lesion
HSIL - High Grade Squamous Intraepithelial Lesion
|HPV/Dysplasia Resource Page|
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The material on this page and Web site is for informational and educational purposes only, and should not substitute for medical advice. Anyone having questions about the application of information appearing here to a specific person or situation should obtain advice from a qualified physician.
Coming Soon - Vulvar and Vaginal Dysplasia >