Abnormal Pap smear
Female body, as well as the human body in general, is very sensitive despite the body’s immune system. Therefore, it is susceptible to many diseases and disorders due to certain internal or external factors. Unfortunately, many women have the problem with the abnormal growth of cells on their cervix, which is the lower part of the uterus. By the means of a Pap smear a gynecologist can look at the cells of the cervix in order to establish whether there are certain changes. When the Pap smear is abnormal, it means that the cervical cells have shown certain abnormal changes. Sometimes, the abnormal cells on the cervix can be cancerous.
Types of abnormal cervical cells
Atypical squamous cells, abbreviated ASC, are the cells that create the surface of the cervix. They can be divided into two classes: ASC-US and ASC-H.
- Atypical squamous cells with uncertain significance (ASC-UC) are the cells for which a doctor cannot establish the cause and consequences. In the majority of cases, these abnormal cells are not serious. It is believed that they are caused by certain vaginal infection. Furthermore, it is also considered that the infection caused by human papillomavirus may cause the abnormal growth of these abnormal cells.
- Atypical squamous cells with possible HSIL (ASC-H) are the cells that may be precancerous, which is why a colposcopy is required.
- Atypical glandular cells, abbreviated AGC, are the cells that are in the cervix or the uterus and they secrete mucus. The women with these abnormal cells are at high risk to develop cervical cancer although the cause for the growth of abnormal grandular cells is not known.
- Low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion or LSIL indicates that there are changes in shape and size of the cells in the cervix. In the majority of cases, human pappilomavirus is present in this condition and genital warts may occur.
- High-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion or HSIL indicates that the abnormal cells are very different from normal. These abnormal cells are precancerous and can lead to the development of cervical cancer.
- Squamous cancer cells are extremely abnormal cells in the vagina, uterus or cervix.
- When a Pap smear shows some white blood cells, it means that there is an inflammation in the cells on the Pap smear. The inflammation of cervix is not a serious condition.
- When a Pap smear reveals dried skin cells, it is known as hyperkeratosis. This condition is usually caused by cervical infection or by using a cervical cap or diaphragm.