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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

Dr. Ed Friedlander
941 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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What does endocervical cells/squamous meta plastic cells are absent in a Pap smear mean?

What does endocervical cells/squamous meta plastic cells are absent in a Pap smear mean?

Otherwise: If pap is negative for abnormal cells and HPV, this is ok.
If HPV not tested, may need repeat pap to insure an adequate sampling of the transformation zone of the cervix. ...Read more

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What does Endocervical and/or squamous metaplastic cells (endocervical component) are present on a Pap smear mean?

Not cancer: It represents growth of squamous cells, that are normally on the exposed part of cervix growing into the cervical canal and is not a serious issue. Follow your doctor's advise about repeat PAP tests.
For good health - Have a diet rich in fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains, milk and milk products, nuts, beans, legumes, lentils and small amounts of lean meats. Avoid saturated fats. Drink enough water daily, so that your urine is mostly colorless. Exercise at least 150 minutes/week and increase the intensity of exercise gradually. Do not use tobacco, alcohol, weed or street drugs in any form.
Practice safe sex, if you have sex. ...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

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Had abnormal pap smear and then a colposcopy. Went back a year later and no abnormal cells present. Does this mean I have HPV?

You had HPV now gone: Abnormal cells of the cervix always means HPV; you can be sure you had HPV at the time of your abnormal pap and colposcopy. With your pap smear now normal, it is likely that the underlying HPV infection also has cleared up. Confirm with the doctor who treated you. Also ask her about getting vaccinated to reduce the risk of future infections with high-risk and wart-causing HPV strains. Good luck! ...Read more

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Had pap smear. Doc called and said she needs to redo it cuz the lab says not enough cells collected? What does that mean and is it worrisome?

Nothing to worry: Sometimes mucus, blood, debris of cells in collected specimen overpowers cells that need to be tested for cervical cancer. It is known situation and it means that unfortunately you need to go through another exam for those cells to be collected again. At your age your doctor can collect enough cells for an additional test for HR HPV and if both tests are normal you don't need PAP for 5 years unles ...Read more

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Pap smear results came back as inflamed ascus- dr says it's inflamed normal cells. Hpv is negative. Had this happen again in 2012. What does it mean?

Pap smear results came back as inflamed ascus- dr says it's inflamed normal cells. Hpv is negative. Had this happen again in 2012. What does it mean?

Probably normal: A SCUS stands for atypical squamous cells of uncertain significance. That means the cells look funny. If the HPV is negative and it remains negative this is just an outlier under the microscope. If the HPV is positive you will need a biopsy. If The atypia persist you also will get a biopsy even if the HPV is negative. So at this point the HPV test is the most important predictor of whether you havso at this point the HPV test is the most important predictor of whether you have human papilloma virus infection ...Read more

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My GYN called & said my Pap smear results were atrophic. She stated that this meant that she didn't collect enough cells & I have to have another test?

Pap smears at 61: Without the use of estrogen in the vagina or otherwise, it is not uncommon to have an "atrophic" pap smear at age 61 as there is no vaginal cell stimulation by the hormone. The 2nd pap smear may also be atrophic. If you have had regular negative pap smears yearly, (3 or more) then new ACOG recommendations may forego the need for further testing. Talk to your GYN MD about this subject. ...Read more

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After having a leep of CIN 2-3, my latest pap smear says I have metaplastic squamous cells. What does that mean?

After having a leep of CIN 2-3, my latest pap smear says I have metaplastic squamous cells. What does that mean?

Benign process.: Metaplasia is a reactive condition that occurs even in the normal cervix. The outer cervix (ectocervix) is composed of squamous cells, while the inner cervix (endocervix) is lined by glandular cells. In an inflamed environment, such as after a leep, glandular cells undergo metaplasia to squamous cells, as squamous cells are hardier. ...Read more

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What mean of pap smear test? Superficial, intermediate squamous cell, metaplastic and endocervical cell seen. Many cell with kilocytic atypia seen.

Abnormal: Your gynecologist will go over your results and recommend the plan of care. Make sure you keep your follow up appointment and wire specific questions that you might have. ...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