Approximately 8 percent of all Pap smears show abnormal results. The treatment for cervical dysplasia varies, depending on the extent and severity of the dysplasia. Treatment may involve removal of the abnormal cervical tissue.
If you are diagnosed with mild dysplasia and have no other risk factors for cervical cancer, your doctor will probably just monitor your condition and wait to see if the affected cells return to normal. Your doctor will perform a second Pap smear in four to six months and, if cell growth is normal at that time, no treatment will be necessary. With mild dysplasia, it is recommended that you continue to monitor the health of your cervix by returning for a pelvic examination and Pap smear twice a year for at least two years.
Cervical Dysplasia Treatment Photo Gallery
A diagnosis of moderate or severe dysplasia is treated a little differently. Your doctor will check the surface of your cervix for abnormalities by performing a colposcopy: using a viewing tube with a magnifying lens, he or she will inspect your cervix and will take a biopsy of tissue from the abnormal area. There are two types of biopsy used in this procedure: a punch biopsy samples a tiny piece of your cervix; endo-cervical curettage is used to scrape tissue from the cervical canal. These samples are sent to a laboratory to determine the extent of changes in cervical cells.
Once the severity of the cervical dysplasia is known, the treatment involves removing all the abnormal growth that can turn into cervical cancer. Your doctor may perform a surgical procedure called a cervical conization, which removes a coneshaped area of tissue. Other ways of removing the abnormal area include cauterizing the tissue with heat, freezing it with cryosurgery, vaporizing it with lasers or removing it with an electrified wire loop procedure known as LEEP. These treatments usually do not affect your ability to become pregnant. But because cervical dysplasia can return, it is important to monitor yourself carefully and have Pap smears every three months for the first year after surgery and every six months after that.
In more severe cases, a hysterectomy to remove your uterus may be necessary. This decision will prevent you from having children in the future.
The sooner you detect and treat cervical dysplasia, the lower your risk for developing cervical cancer. In the meantime, there are dietary and nutritional strategies that can help prevent cervical dysplasia from developing in the first place. If your recent Pap test has revealed abnormal cervical cells, some of the strategies I discuss below might even reverse the dysplasia.