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Doctors' Answers to "Frequently Asked Questions" - Pap Smears

These comments are made for the purpose of discussion and should NOT be used as recommendations for or against therapies or other treatments. An indi vidual patient is always advised to consult their own physician.

[posted 07/7/2000]
Question: My pap smear came back with a diagnosis of "Epithelial Cell Abnormality. Atypical Squamous Cells of Undetermined Significance". ASCUS/AGUS is 05800. What does this mean? My gynecologist says it is not cancer.

Answer: First, get a second opinion to ensure it was not misread-common problem, have a pathologist who is a specialist in pap smears read it, even if it means sending it away. Epithelial cells are what a pap smear is, atypical cells can be precursors to cancer(not cancer) and if present, most would do repeat paps at 3-6 month intervals or culposcopy which is visualization of the cervix to ensure there are no abnormal areas that need biopsy.

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