Normal tissue: Frequently, the cervical cells are normal, which indicates that the cells reverted back to a normal growth pattern. Occasionally, abnormal cells are present, but are high up in the cervical canal, beyond the view of the colposcope, which is why a follow-up short interval Pap smear is always done.
HPV changes: Human papilloma virus (HPV) is responsible for dysplasia and cervical cancers. Sometimes, cellular changes indicate the presence of the virus, but there are still no actual precancerous cells.
- CIN I: Mild dysplasia or low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions.
- CIN II: Moderate dysplasia or high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions.
- CIN III: Severe dysplasia, or high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions, also known as carcinoma in situ.
Invasive cancer: True cancer that has infiltrated surrounding tissue and has the ability to spread.