> Symptom of cervical dysplasia
Symptom of cervical dysplasia
It is very hard for an ordinary woman to determine a symptom of cervical dysplasia on her own. Cervical dysplasia is a pathological condition of cervix cells, and it is rarely accompanied by visible symptoms. The disease develops inside the vagina, on the cervix, so its detection requires special tests or visual inspection. Only a well-experienced health care provider is able to diagnose the presence and the stage of cervical dysplasia in a woman.
Dysplasia means an abnormal growth of cells and is a precancerous condition. Cervical dysplasia involves the cells located in the upper layer of the cervix or the cervical canal. In most cases an examination with some optical magnifying device is needed to identify a symptom of cervical dysplasia. There are several methods allowing such an examination, for example, Pap smear, colposcopy and biopsy.
A Pap smear is the most commonly used test for evaluation of cervical cells status. It consists in scrapping of cervical epithelium to obtain a cytological sample which is examined under microscope by a pathologist. This test helps to detect cells with a symptom of cervical dysplasia, but it is hard to define the real size of the lesion when the result is abnormal. That is why doctors usually refer patients with abnormal pap smears for other diagnostic procedures.
When a symptom of cervical dysplasia is spotted by a cytological analysis, a woman should have a colposcopy. This procedure includes a visual inspection of cervix and vagina with a lighted magnifying instrument called s colposcope. During colposcopy doctors may apply acetic acid or iodine solution to highlight lesions that are suspected to be dysplastic.
If the lesion is present and the doctor wants to know its depth and special characteristics in order to make an accurate diagnosis, diagnostic biopsy is often done. A biopsy is the removal of cervical tissue for histological examination. Biopsy results are interpreted by a specialist in cervical pathology. Besides Pap smear, colposcopy and biopsy, patients with a symptom of cervical dysplasia often have HPV DNA tests, as HPV infection is one of the most important risk factors for development of cervical cancer in this case.
Since there is no special physical symptom of cervical dysplasia, every woman should have a Pap smear regularly. Pap smears should be done yearly in all sexually active women. Besides screening for a symptom of cervical dysplasia, Pap smears also help to detect signs of sexually transmitted infections and many other vaginal and cervical conditions.