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Doctor insights on: What Does It Mean When Not Enough Cells Are Gotten For A Pap Smear

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What does abnormal cells mean in a pap smear examination result?

What does abnormal cells mean in a pap smear examination result?

Abnormal PAP: We do pap smears to screen for cervical cancer cells. The pap smear has helped us reduce cervical cancer to very small numbers. We think that cancer forms in stages over many years (about 10-15). The cells get progressively abnormal before they become cancerous and this is the opportunity that the pap smear gives us. Remove/kill the abnormal cells before cancer develops. ...Read more

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Dr. Ed Friedlander
922 doctors shared insights

Pap Smear (Definition)

A pap smear (cervical smear) is a text looking at the cells from the canal and outside of the cervix to see if any abnormalities (especially ...Read more


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What does it mean if you have precancerous cells on your pap smear?

What does it mean if you have precancerous cells on your pap smear?

At risk of cancer: Precancerous cells indicate presence of pathologic processes that could lead to development of cancer. ...Read more

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What does it mean to have endometrial cells on a normal pap smear?

What does it mean to have endometrial cells on a normal pap smear?

Endometrial cells: Within normal limits Pap smear result means that no cell lesions or malignancy have been found. Reactive cellular changes, cellular atrophy, and endometrial cells present are normal variables. Pap smears are an excellent tool, but are not perfect. ...Read more

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What do superficial and intermediate cells mean in pap smear result?

Nothing significant: These are normal cells. So you do not have any indication of abnormal cells like cancer or pre-cancer to worry about. ...Read more

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What exactly does it mean when you have epithelial cell abnormality on pap smear?

What exactly does it mean when you have epithelial cell abnormality on pap smear?

You need to followup: There are several categories of abnormal paps. Each category has a risk of finding a cervical precancer or (more rarely) a cancer associated with it. Your doctor may look at the cervix with a colposcope to get a magnified view of any abnormalities and may even take a small biopsy. It is important for you to contact your doctor about these abnormalities. ...Read more

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What does it mean to have abnormal cells on your pap smear? I was told i had dysplasia cells? should i worry?

What does it mean to have abnormal cells on your pap smear? I was told i had dysplasia cells? should i worry?

Follow advice: Worrying is not useful. Follow your doctor's advice for follow up tests. Disposals is reversible and may go away. Get HPV vaccine. ...Read more

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I had a pap smear that came back with abnormal cells and had a colposcopy then had a pap smear with low grade cells. What does that mean?

Low grade : Lgsil is a common (and not dangerous) abnormality of the cervix. It goes away most of the time. The chances of it becoming cancer are <1%. ...Read more

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Results of pap smear is normal but endocervical and or squamous metaplastic cells. Endocervical component are present. What does this mean?

Slight abnormality: I am sure your gynecologist can help you address your concerns. Metaplastic cells are slightly abnormal but they are not cancerous. So you do not need to worry. Yet you need to continue to have regular pap smear testing as advised by your gynecologist and follow up on this abnormality which is likely to resolve with time. ...Read more

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My pap smear said normal, but what does this mean "Endocervical Component/Squamous Metaplastic Cells from Transformation Zone are Present."?

Good: That means that the pap smear tested the area between the ecto- and endo-cervix, the "transformation zone". This is the zone where abnormal cells tend to arise, so the fact that this pap smear captured cells from that area is perfect, that's just the area that doctor was hoping to analyze. Metaplastic cells are not cancer, and are benign, so this is a benign result. HOpe that helps! ...Read more

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My pap smear showed negative, but also said Atrophic pattern; predominantly parabasal cells. What does that mean, Low estrogen? 65 & post menopausal

My pap smear showed negative, but also said Atrophic pattern; predominantly parabasal cells.  What does that mean, Low estrogen? 65 & post menopausal

Low estrogen: What you described is consistent with atrophy of the vaginal lining due to low estrogen. It is expected in a post-menopausal woman. If you have any symptoms, discuss taking hormones, with your doctor. ...Read more

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Pap smear results say normal/negative for interepithelial lesions or malignancy but also says reactive epithelial cell changes. What does that mean?

Pap smear results say normal/negative for interepithelial lesions or malignancy but also says reactive epithelial cell changes. What does that mean?

Nothing serious: The aim of pap test is to check for Cancer cells or pre-cancers. you have neither of these conditions. reactive is a non specific word saying the cells are not perfect, yet the reactive chnages are not of any consequence ...Read more

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My pap smear was negative for HPV but showed endometrial cells?What does this mean?My dr. Wants to do a biopsy.

My pap smear was negative for HPV but showed endometrial cells?What does this mean?My dr. Wants to do a biopsy.

It's a precaution: Endometrial cells come from your uterus. In women your age, about 12% show normal endometrial cells on their pap smear. Usually they are just normal cells that have "shed" into your pap smear. But about 1 in 10 times they can signal something abnormal is happening in your uterus, possibly cancer. It's recommended that any woman with these cells on a pap smear has further testing, just to be sure. ...Read more

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I had a pap smear.My dr said I have pre-cancerous cells they found on my cervix. I am 30 years old. 3 kids by c-secton. What does this mean?

I had a pap smear.My dr said I have pre-cancerous cells they found on my cervix. I am 30 years old. 3 kids by c-secton. What does this mean?

Abnormal pap: The true meaning of the pap is based on the results of the follow up test ( the colposcopy) ... Abnormalities on pap smears should be taken seriously, but if you follow up it rarely proceeds to cancer... Follow up is key! ...Read more

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Hi i did a pap smear and results came back as follow: low grade squamous intraepithelial lesion does it mean I have canser? Or canser cells?

Hi i did a pap smear and results came back as follow: low grade squamous intraepithelial lesion does it mean I have canser? Or canser cells?

It is Not Cancer: These are minimal changes, clearly not cancerous.Your gynecologist can guide you further. Such changes are common and are caused due to infections and do not change over many years. So you do not have to worry right now yet have follow up checks. ...Read more

Cervical Smear (Definition)

A cervical smear or pap smear is a text looking at cells from the outside and canal of the cervi to see if ...Read more