W. David Stinson, MD    Obstetrics & Gynecology

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Pathology of an abnormal Pap smear


This is a pathology diagram of a Pap smear from normal to more severe dysplasia, from left to right.  As you can see, the cells get smaller and the depth of abnormality increases with worsening dysplasia (abnormal growth).  CIN stands for cervical intraepithelial neoplasia.  'Neo' means new, 'dys' means abnormal.  I would call it CID instead of CIN, but this nomenclature changes every few years anyway.


In Situ carcinoma is basically 'cancer sitting there.'  At the bottom right, the abnormal cells have grown through the basement membrane or floor, such that they can now invade a woman's body.   This is true cancer.  Everything else is precancerous.  No one should get cervical cancer because it can be reduced with Gardisil and prevented with yearly Pap smears.


Would you like to take a medical HPV and cervical cancer quiz?  Click here for a Pap quiz