Are atypical squamous cells cancerous?

Atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance is the most common abnormal finding in a Pap test. It may be a sign of infection with certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV). It may also be a sign of a benign (not cancer) growth, such as a cyst or polyp or, in menopausal women, of low hormone levels.

Likewise, is low grade squamous intraepithelial lesion cancer?

NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms. Slightly abnormal cells are found on the surface of the cervix. Low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion is caused by certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV) and is a common abnormal finding on a Pap test. Mild dysplasia, called low-grade intraepithelial lesion (LSIL) is one type.

What causes abnormal squamous cells?

These are cells which appear abnormal but the cause is unclear, and there is a possibility of pre-cancerous changes. You will be advised to have a colposcopy. LSIL -Low grade squamous epithelial lesion signifies a mild cellular change which is not thought to be precancerous. It is usually caused by HPV infection.

What does it mean to have low grade squamous intraepithelial lesion?

Low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (LSIL)—LSIL means that the cervical cells show changes that are mildly abnormal. LSIL usually is caused by an HPV infection that often goes away on its own. High-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (HSIL)—HSIL suggests more serious changes in the cervix than LSIL.

Can abnormal cells from HPV go away?

Most HPV infections, even with high-risk types, go away on their own without causing problems. They are fought off by the body’s immune system. However, sometimes infections with high-risk HPV types do not go away. When a high-risk HPV infection of cervical cells lasts many years, the cells can become abnormal.


HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI). HPV is a different virus than HIV and HSV (herpes). There are many different types of HPV. Some types can cause health problems including genital warts and cancers.

What does atypical squamous cells mean on a Pap smear?

Atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance (ASCUS). Squamous cells are thin and flat and grow on the surface of a healthy cervix. In the case of ASCUS, the Pap smear reveals slightly abnormal squamous cells, but the changes don’t clearly suggest that precancerous cells are present.

What causes HPV to come back?

Once you get infected with HPV, the virus likely stays in your body either as an active infection or lays dormant and undetectable after the infection is cleared by your immune system. The HPV does not go away and may remain present in the cervical cells for years.

What is atypical squamous cells?

Atypical squamous cells (ASC) is the name given to squamous cells on a Pap test (also called a Pap smear or cervical cytology) that do not have a normal appearance but are not clearly precancerous. Low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (LSIL) on a Pap test are cells that appear slightly abnormal.

Is it common to have an abnormal Pap smear?

No. Cancer is usually not the reason why your Pap test is abnormal. The most common reason for an abnormal Pap test is a vaginal or cervical infection that causes changes in the cells of your cervix. Most of these changes can be followed closely until they return to normal.

How often do you need a Pap smear if you have HPV?

But the Center for Disease Control recommends that you get tested for HPV just every two to three years if your last pap smear was normal. Obviously if you have some risk factors like an abnormal pap test or a family history of cervical cancer, you should speak with your doctor about how often you should get checked.

Are Ascus cells cancerous?

There may, in fact, be no immediate cervical cancer risk associated with your ASCUS Pap smear result. The most common causes of ASCUS Pap smear results are noncancerous (benign) conditions, such as infections or inflammation. These conditions can cause cervical cells to appear abnormal.

Is a low grade squamous intraepithelial lesion precancerous?

These precancerous lesions are commonly called cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN). They have also been called squamous intraepithelial lesions (SIL) and there are two types: In these low-grade lesions, the cells have only a few abnormal characteristics, but are still somewhat similar to the normal cells.

What is high risk human papillomavirus?

High-risk HPVs cause several types of cancer. Cervical cancer: Virtually all cases of cervical cancer are caused by HPV, and just two HPV types, 16 and 18, are responsible for about 70% of all cases (7, 8). Anal cancer: About 95% of anal cancers are caused by HPV. Most of these are caused by HPV type 16.

What is the cause of human papillomavirus?

Genital HPV is spread through contact with (touching) the skin of someone who has an HPV infection. Contact includes vaginal, anal, and oral sex. Some types of HPV cause genital warts, which are hard, rough lumps that grow on the skin. Anyone who is sexually active can get HPV and genital warts.

Can cervical cancer be treated?

Treatment of stage IB and stage IIA cervical cancer may include the following: Radiation therapy with chemotherapy given at the same time. Radical hysterectomy and removal of pelvic lymph nodes with or without radiation therapy to the pelvis, plus chemotherapy. Radical trachelectomy.

What are high grade squamous cells?

The diagnosis of high grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (or HGSIL) on a Pap test means the presence of precancerous cells, not cancer. In lay terms, precancerous cells may be mild, moderate, or severe. The designation of HGSIL refers to the presence of moderate or severe pre-cancer.

What does low grade HPV mean?

An abnormal result means that cell changes were found on your cervix. This usually does not mean that you have cervical cancer. Abnormal changes on your cervix are likely caused by HPV. The changes may be minor (low-grade) or serious (high-grade). Most of the time, minor changes go back to normal on their own.

How common is cervical cancer?

HPV is estimated to be the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States. In fact, by age 50 approximately 80% of women have been infected with some type of HPV. The majority of women infected with the HPV virus do NOT develop cervical cancer.

What causes atypical cells?

This might cause you to worry that this means cancer, but atypical cells aren’t necessarily cancerous. The presence of atypical cells is sometimes referred to as “dysplasia.” Many factors can make normal cells appear atypical, including inflammation and infection. Even normal aging can make cells appear abnormal.

What procedure is performed with a colposcopy?

A colposcopy (kol-POS-kuh-pee) is a method of examining the cervix, vagina, and vulva with a surgical instrument called a colposcope. The procedure is usually performed if the results of your Pap smear (the screening test used to identify abnormal cervical cells) are unusual.

What is the meaning of squamous cell?

Cancer that begins in squamous cells. Squamous cells are thin, flat cells that look like fish scales, and are found in the tissue that forms the surface of the skin, the lining of the hollow organs of the body, and the lining of the respiratory and digestive tracts.

What does it mean to have an abnormal Pap smear?

If the results of your Pap test come back positive, that means your doctor found abnormal or unusual cells on your cervix. It doesn’t mean you have cervical cancer. Most often, the abnormal test result means there have been cell changes caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV).

How do you get cervical cancer?

Cervical cancer facts

  • Causes and risk factors for cervical cancer include human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, having many sexual partners, smoking, taking birth control pills, and engaging in early sexual contact.
  • HPV infection may cause cervical dysplasia, or abnormal growth of cervical cells.
  • Originally posted 2022-01-11 18:10:00.