Some smear test abnormalities 'self-heal'

Some smear test abnormalities 'self-heal'
From BBC - February 27, 2018

Early cell changes that can turn into cervical cancer may not need treatment and get better on their own in 50% of cases, according to a new study.

The British Medical Journal research looked at the outcomes of more than 3,000 women and found half of the "moderate" lesions found on routine smear tests regressed spontaneously.

The study authors stress it is still very important that women attend for cervical screening when invited.

Regular screening saves lives.

What does a positive smear test mean?

Most women's smear test results will be normal, but for around one in 20, the test shows some abnormal changes in the cells of the cervix.

Although most of these changes will not lead to cancer and the cells may return to normal, some lesions will need to be removed to prevent them turning cancerous.

Currently, doctors may treat "moderate" pre-cancerous lesions, classified as CIN2, but leave and monitor low grade CIN1 lesions.

The CIN grading reflects how deep the cell changes go into the surface of the cervix - the neck of the womb:

What did the study find?

What should women do?


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