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Cancer: Cervical & Ovarian Message Board

Cancer: Cervical & Ovarian Board Index

We do things a little differently in Canada, but your one abnormal pap in a slew of normal paps is not an indication for colposcopy (well, depending on what they saw under the microscope).

Normally, when a woman's pap comes back abnormal after having been normal for a long time, it comes back as something called ASCUS...or atypical squamous cells of unknown significance. All this means is that there are changes in the cells that COULD be pre-cancerous, but they aren't sure. Usually what they do in this case is wait 6 months and repeat the pap. If it comes back negative, need to do anything until your next pap. If it comes back abnormal (so now you've had two consecutive abnormal paps) you go to the clinic for colposcopy.

However, if the first abnormal pap comes back as something that is pre-cancerous right off the bat (you'll likely hear a term like LGSIL or HGSIL...i.e. low or high grade squamous intraepithelial lesion) then colposcopy is a must right off the bat.

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