15 doctors weighed in:
If I had an abnormal pap with severe dysplasia level 3, does it mean that I have cervical cancer?
15 doctors weighed in

Ben Ferguson
Surgery
8 doctors agree
In brief: Not necessarily.
This is an old term that correlates with what is now known as cin3 (or cervical intraepithelial neoplasia, grade 3), which is not technically cervical cancer but rather a precursor. Some can spontaneously regress, but some can progress to frank cancer. As such, treatment options can include anything from doing nothing to actually removing the offending lesion(s).

In brief: Not necessarily.
This is an old term that correlates with what is now known as cin3 (or cervical intraepithelial neoplasia, grade 3), which is not technically cervical cancer but rather a precursor. Some can spontaneously regress, but some can progress to frank cancer. As such, treatment options can include anything from doing nothing to actually removing the offending lesion(s).
Ben Ferguson
Ben Ferguson
Answer assisted by Ben Ferguson, Medical Student
Thank
Dr. John Kirk
Obstetrics & Gynecology
2 doctors agree
In brief: Possibly
The more advanced the dysplasia (abnormal cells) the greater the possibility of finding cancer in your cervix.
The next stage of your evaluation is to obtain a colposcopy with biopsies. These 3-dimensional pathology specimens will then be evaluated to see if the disease has progressed to actual cancer. The good news is in most cases it takes 10-15 years from onset of dysplasia to become cancer.

In brief: Possibly
The more advanced the dysplasia (abnormal cells) the greater the possibility of finding cancer in your cervix.
The next stage of your evaluation is to obtain a colposcopy with biopsies. These 3-dimensional pathology specimens will then be evaluated to see if the disease has progressed to actual cancer. The good news is in most cases it takes 10-15 years from onset of dysplasia to become cancer.
Dr. John Kirk
Dr. John Kirk
Thank
Marianne DiNapoli
Obstetrics & Gynecology
2 doctors agree
In brief: No.
You probably have cervical intraepithelial neoplasia 3 (cin3) which is a precursor to cervical cancer.
Cin3 means the cells in your cervix are growing abnormally in greater than two-thirds the thickness of the mucus membrane of the cervix. If it is untreated, the estimated risk of progressing to cervical cancer is 12-40%.

In brief: No.
You probably have cervical intraepithelial neoplasia 3 (cin3) which is a precursor to cervical cancer.
Cin3 means the cells in your cervix are growing abnormally in greater than two-thirds the thickness of the mucus membrane of the cervix. If it is untreated, the estimated risk of progressing to cervical cancer is 12-40%.
Marianne DiNapoli
Marianne DiNapoli
Answer assisted by Marianne Di Napoli, Medical Student
Thank
Dr. Dennis Higginbotham
Obstetrics & Gynecology
1 doctor agrees
In brief: Close
Severe dysplasia is the diagnosis for tissue that is markedly abnormal, but with still some features of normal tissue evident on biopsy - some cells would have some degree of normalcy.
A cancer would have no normal tissue development apparent on the biopsy - all of the cells would be abnormal.

In brief: Close
Severe dysplasia is the diagnosis for tissue that is markedly abnormal, but with still some features of normal tissue evident on biopsy - some cells would have some degree of normalcy.
A cancer would have no normal tissue development apparent on the biopsy - all of the cells would be abnormal.
Dr. Dennis Higginbotham
Dr. Dennis Higginbotham
Thank
1 doctor agrees
In brief: No
The pap smear is just a screening device that samples cells from a scraping.
A more precise diagnosis requires a colposcopy and biopsy to look at a piece of tissue under the microscope. Severe dysplasia is a precancer, though if the pap shows severe dysplasia, there is a chance of invasive cancer so further evaluation is important.

In brief: No
The pap smear is just a screening device that samples cells from a scraping.
A more precise diagnosis requires a colposcopy and biopsy to look at a piece of tissue under the microscope. Severe dysplasia is a precancer, though if the pap shows severe dysplasia, there is a chance of invasive cancer so further evaluation is important.
Dr. Katherine Sutherland
Dr. Katherine Sutherland
Thank
Get help from a real doctor now
Dr. Dennis Higginbotham
Board Certified, Obstetrics & Gynecology
26 years in practice
49M people helped
Continue
108,000 doctors available
Read more answers from doctors