Pap smears are tests done to examine the cells from the cervix, which is the bottom portion of the uterus. These tests can detect cervical cancer, or abnormal cells that have the potential to eventually transform into a cervical cancer. Results of a Pap smear may be reported as "negative for intraepithelial lesion or malignancy," meaning that no abnormalities in the cells were seen when examined under a microscope. Conversely, the examination may reveal abnormal cells of different significance. LGSIL stands for "low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion," meaning that there are early atypical changes seen in the collected cells that are often associated with the development of cervical cancer if left untreated. "Squamous" refers to the type of thin coating cells that make up the outer layer of the cervix.
If a Pap smear returns with a result of LGSIL, then your physician may choose to follow-up with a repeat Pap smear (since most LGSIL resolves spontaneously), or he/she may choose to more aggressively monitor work up this result with a colposcopy and biopsy
. A coloposcopy is test performed by your doctor
in which he/she uses direct visualization with a light source and magnifying binoculars to visualize your cervix to detect any abnormalities in the skin. These abnormalities can be biopsied and then examined to gain more detail about the types of changes that may lead to cervical cancer.