Maybe you have had a Pap test and your doctor said that you have cervical dysplasia (also called CIN) ASC-US or SIL. Just hearing those words can be scary. Here’s some information to help make your Pap test results less confusing.
Pap test results are grouped into several categories depending on what the doctor sees when looking at the specimen under the microscope. If changes in cells from the cervix are found following a Pap test, it can mean that cancer – or a maybe a pre-cancer – is present.
One of the most common cancers in women, cervical cancer begins in the tissues of the cervix – an area that connects the vagina to the uterus in women. The good news is that cervical cancer is typically a slow-growing cancer that can be easily detected in its pre-cancerous stages with regular PAP tests and other screening tests.
Are you at risk?
What we know is that women with certain risk factors may be more likely than others to develop cervical cancer. Research has shown that cervical cancer is almost always caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) infection – however not all women with HPV get cervical cancer.
We also know that women that smoke and have HPV are nearly twice as likely as non-smokers to get cervical cancer. Other risk factors include a family history of cervical cancer (mother or sister), a diet low in fruits and vegetables, and being overweight.