Cervical dysplasia is a precancerous condition, in which abnormal or mutated cells grow on the surface of the cervix. Cervix is the opening to your uterus that is attached to the top of your vagina. Cervical dysplasia is also called Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia or CIN. Intraepithelial means presence of the abnormal cells on the epithelial tissue of the cervix. Neoplasia means the growth of abnormal cells. Cervical dysplasia is usually detected by a Pap test (pap smear) and diagnosed with a biopsy. The abnormal cell changes can be mild, moderate or severe.
Types of Cervical Dysplasia
These are two different types of dysplasia:
- Mild dysplasia, called low-grade intraepithelial lesion (LSIL)
- Moderate or severe dysplasia, called high-grade intraepithelial lesion (HSIL). LSIL and HSIL which may or may not become cancer.
Cervical dysplasia can develop at any age because the cells on the cervix change over time. It starts with a sexually transmitted viral infection called HPV. In most cases HPV is the primary cause of cervical dysplasia.
If you are vaccinated against HPV, your immune system clears the infection. HPV has more than 200 types and about 40 of them affect the genitals. There are several known “high risk“ strains of HPV that have been associated with cervical dysplasia and can lead to cervical cancer. The disease spreads through sexual contact. These are some factors that may increase your chances of having cervical dysplasia:
- Becoming sexually active before 18 years
- Having multiple sexual partners
- Smoking or chewing tobacco
- Not using protection for STDs
- Giving birth before 16 years
- Not getting the HPV vaccine
Is It Cancer?
Cervical dysplasia is the abnormal growth of cells on the surface of the cervix and is considered a precancerous condition. With proper management and treatment, the condition may revert or improve before becoming cancerous.
Cervical cancer occurs when abnormal cells on the surface of the cervix spread deeper into the cervix or any other organ’s tissues. It affects women over the age of 40 and is the 2nd leading cause of deaths by cancer in women. It is different from uterine cancer and requires a different course of treatment. If left untreated, it may take 10 years or more for cervical dysplasia to turn into cervical cancer, but in rare cases this can happen in less time.
Cervical dysplasia generally causes no symptoms. Only regular visits to a Gynaecologist in lahore, including a pelvic exam and pap test can identify the condition before it gets out of hand.
Symptoms usually appear when the abnormal cells start invading the tissues of other organs. They may include:
- Heavy menstrual bleeding that lasts longer than usual.
- Bleeding after menopause.
- Increased vaginal discharge.
- Pain during intercourse.
Usually a pap test alone can identify a mild, moderate or severe cervical dysplasia. However some other tests are often required during follow up and treatment. These may include:
- Repeated pap tests.
- Endocervical Curettage
- Cone biopsy or Loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP)
- HPV DNA test.
Women who go undiagnosed or do not receive appropriate care are at a higher risk of developing cervical cancer.
Treatment of cervical dysplasia depends upon the severity of the condition. Mild dysplasia goes away without treatment. For moderate and severe conditions, treatment can include.
- Cryosurgery, which freezes abnormal cells
- Laser therapy
- LEEP (loop electrosurgical excision procedure), it uses electricity to remove affected tissues
- Cone biopsy, in which a cone shaped piece of the cervix remove from the location of abnormal tissue.
Treatment typically cures cervical dysplasia but it can return and if it is not treated properly, it may get worse and turn into cancer.
Some steps can take to reduce the risk of getting HPV and cervical dysplasia.
- Get vaccinated for HPV.
- Practice safe sex.
- Avoid chewing or smoking tobacco.
You can prevent cervical dysplasia from becoming cancer by visiting Dr. Adila Tahir and getting regular cervical screenings.
Cervical dysplasia is a treatable condition that causes abnormal cell growth on the cervix. It is usually caused by HPV. It can cause cervical cancer if left unmonitored and untreated. The risk of developing this condition can reduce by getting the HPV vaccine, taking measures against STDs, and quitting smoking. Read more