Cervical dysplasia is the abnormal growth of precancerous cells on the surface of the cervix. This condition is most often seen in women ages 25 - 35, but can develop at any age. The follow-up testing after an abnormal pap smear depends on your age and the grade of dysplasia.
Dysplasia is graded as mild, moderate or severe. Mild dysplasia usually goes away on its own. Moderate and severe indicate more dramatic changes. Without treatment, severe cervical dysplasia could develop into invasive cancer. However, it may take many years for this to occur.
Treatment for moderate-to-severe dysplasia includes:
- Cryosurgery to freeze abnormal cells
- Laser therapy, which uses light to burn away abnormal tissue
- LEEP (loop electrosurgical excision procedure), which uses electricity to remove abnormal tissue (See: electrocauterization)
- Surgery to remove the abnormal tissue (cone biopsy)
For additional references consult:
- American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecologists
- WomensHealth.gov - Pap Test Fact Sheet
- PubMed Health
Beth Nicastro, PNP-BC, is a women's health community coordinator/educator. She also sees patients as a nurse practitioner at East Aurora Pediatrics.
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