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Abnormal Pap Test - Types of Results

Lab specialists label abnormal cells according to how abnormal they are—how different they are from normal cells. Knowing what type of abnormal cells you have helps your doctor decide on treatment.

Minor cell changes

Minor cell changes may disappear without treatment. But sometimes they turn into more serious cell changes. Types of minor cell changes are:

  • ASC-US or ASC-H. These are changes for which the cause is unknown. ASC-US changes usually stay the same or return to normal. ASC-H changes are also minor but have a higher likelihood of becoming more serious.
  • LSIL. These changes may be more likely to become more severe over time, but even when they do, they usually return to normal.

Moderate to severe cell changes

Moderate to severe cell changes—HSIL and AGC—are more likely to be precancerous and turn into cervical cancer if left untreated.

In some countries, other labeling systems are used. These systems may use the term dysplasia to describe cervical cell changes. Or they may simply describe the changes as mild, moderate, or severe.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: March 12, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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