©2018 WebMD, Inc. All rights reserved. eMedicineHealth does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. See Additional Information.

Symptoms and Signs of Cervical Dysplasia Stages, Symptoms, Treatments, and Surgery

Doctor's Notes on Cervical Dysplasia Stages, Symptoms, Treatments, and Surgery

Cervical dysplasia is a precancerous condition in women that appear in cells (cells appear abnormal) that compose the lining of the cervix. There are no signs and symptoms for this condition; it is recognized when a PAP smear is done during cancer screening.

Cervical dysplasia can be caused by infection of the cells with the human papilloma virus (HPV). It raises the risk to develop cancer. A vaccine against HPV is available to help prevent infections.

Medical Author:
Medically Reviewed on 3/11/2019

Cervical Dysplasia Stages, Symptoms, Treatments, and Surgery Symptoms

Cervical dysplasia is not typically associated with any symptoms; therefore, regular cervical cancer screening with a PAP smear and pelvic examination is recommended.

Cervical Dysplasia Stages, Symptoms, Treatments, and Surgery Causes

Cervical dysplasia is caused by infection with the human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is a very common infection that is transmitted through sexual contact. Most new HPV infections occur in young (ages 15-25) women. Most HPV infections do not produce any symptoms and resolve spontaneously.

Some HPV infections persist over time rather than resolve, although the reason why this happens is not clear. Persistent HPV infection may lead to the development of genital warts, precancerous changes (cervical dysplasia) of the uterine cervix, as well as cervical cancer. Since not all women who have HPV infection develop cancer, additional factors must also be present to cause cervical dysplasia and cancer.

Certain HPV types typically cause genital warts or mild dysplasia ("low-risk" types; HPV-6, HPV-11), while other types (known as "high-risk" HPV types) are more strongly associated with severe dysplasia and cervical cancer (HPV-16, HPV-18).

Since HPV infections are transmitted primarily by sexual contact, the risk of infection increases with the number of sexual partners a person has. Cigarette smoking and suppression of the immune system (such as with HIV infection) are also known to increase the risk for HPV-induced dysplasia and cancer.

Cervical Cancer Symptoms, Stages, and Treatment Slideshow

Cervical Cancer Symptoms, Stages, and Treatment Slideshow

The cervix is the lower part of the uterus, where it extends into the vagina. Cancer of the uterine cervix affects over 12,000 women each year in the U.S. Most cases of cervical cancer are actually caused by an infectious agent, the human papillomavirus (HPV). It is highly curable when detected early enough.

REFERENCE:

Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.

CONTINUE SCROLLING FOR RELATED SLIDESHOW