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Cervical Dysplasia

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Cervical Dysplasia refers to any abnormal changes in the cells on the surface of the cervix. While not cancer themselves, the changes in the cells can lead to cancer of the cervix if not treated properly and efficiently. While cervical dysplasia can develop at any age, it is seen most often in women ages 25 to 35, which is why it is imperative to keep a regular appointment schedule with your OB/GYN.

There are many different causes of cervical dysplasia, though most often it is caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV). HPV is a common virus that is spread through sexual contact, and there are many different types of HPV. A number of these can lead to cancer. Additionally, you may also be at risk of cervical dysplasia if you have done any of the following:

  • Had sex before age 18
  • Had a baby before age 16
  • Have had multiple unprotected sexual partners
  • Have illnesses or medicines that suppress the immune system
  • Are a smoker or are heavily exposed to second-hand smoke

Diagnosing and Treating Cervical Dysplasia

A pelvic exam and Pap test are usually necessary when determining if a patient has cervical dysplasia. While a Pap test alone can identify mild, moderate, or severe cervical dysplasia, further tests are often required to determine appropriate follow-up procedures and treatment, including a colposcopy (a magnified exam of the cervix used to detect abnormal cells), endocervical curettage (a procedure to check for abnormal cells in the cervical canal), cone biopsy or loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP), and/or HPV DNA test to determine if HPV is present and if it is a cancerous strain.

Depending on the severity and degree of the cervical dysplasia, it may go away without any treatment or procedures. If a mild or low case of cervical dysplasia is detected, your doctor may only prescribe careful observation and repeat Pap smears every 6-12 months to follow any changes in the cervical dysplasia. If conditions worsen, treatment will be required.

Contacting a Medical Professional

If you are 21 years old or older and have never had a pelvic examination and Pap smear, contact Dr. Amaro’s office today to schedule an appointment. Without proper care and examination, you could be putting yourself at risk for cervical dysplasia and possible cervical cancer.

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