Though it could be considered a relatively common condition, cervical dysplasia is not widely discussed and therefore can be harder to identify and treat properly before real danger arises. Cervical dysplasia is a type of dysplasia, or enlargement of tissues or organs caused by the abnormal growth of cells that can become precancerous, on the cervical lining or in the endocervical canal, which is between the vagina and the uterus.
Cervical dysplasia is most commonly linked to women with sexually transmitted HPV, or human papilloma virus. Because there are usually no true cervical dysplasia symptoms, the condition is most often found during a female pelvic exam when a Pap smear test has been conducted. Additionally, a urogynecologist specializing in female pelvic medicine and reproductive surgery will perform further tests to accurately determine diagnosis and the proper method of treatment.
These tests include:
- Colposcopy, which can detect abnormal cells in the cervix
- Endocervical curettage, which searches out abnormal cells that may be present in the cervical canal
- Loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP) or a cone biopsy, both of which collect cell samples and can more accurately rule out cancer
- HPV DNA testing to identify the strains of HPV most commonly associated with cervical cancer symptoms
Seek Out and Destroy
Once diagnosis has been made, treatment options can be explored; but without proper care, a woman with cervical dysplasia will be at a greater risk for the development of cervical cancer. Other than routine monitoring, cervical dysplasia treatment may not be necessary in more mild cases, but for women with persistent, moderate, or severe cervical dysplasia, treatment will usually require that the abnormal cells be removed or eliminated.
The most commonly used methods of treatment include:
- Laser surgery
- LEEP (loop electrosurgical excision procedure)
- Cone biopsy
- Freezing, also known as cryosurgery
- Electrocauterization to burn the cells
Decreasing the Odds
Women can most often reduce their risk of developing cervical dysplasia by avoiding high-risk sexual behaviors, which will also reduce the likelihood of contracting HPV. They can also decrease the risk by avoiding smoking and getting regular screenings for cervical cancer beginning at the age of 21.
Don’t let the dangers to your health grow! Call the caring team at Coyle Institute today!