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Re: Can moderate (high grade) dyskaryosis recover by itself??

10 Apr 2017 17:04 in response to Sammyjox

Hello Sammyjox and thank you for posting.

It is very unlikely that cancer is a possibility in your situation.

It is easy for those of us who have nursing experience in women’s health to be less concerned about abnormal cervical screening results. However, for the general public getting any abnormal test result is a concern especially when medical terminology such as dyskaryosis is used. Given the discussion on the forum to date it may help to sum up information on cervical screening

The whole cervical screening programme is done to check for abnormal changes in the cells of the cervix, not to detect cancer. This is done so these changes can be monitored or treated at an early stage before the can develop into cancer in the future.  I hope it is reassuring for you to hear that cervical cell abnormalities are very common, and treatment is easily done and very effective.

Your cervical smear detected a moderate level of abnormality (dyskaryosis) in some of the cervical cells. Colposcopy examination is done to have a closer look at the cervix and detect the area of abnormality on your cervix causing the abnormal smear. Depending on the results of your biopsies another classification system is used to describe the level of abnormality. This is called cervical intraepithelial neoplasia  (CIN).

Abnormal cells are not visible to the naked eye but the colposcopy examination usually gives an indication of the level of abnormality present. Apart from micro-invasion (very early cancer) an established cervix cancer is usually visible or suspected on colposcopy. In this rare situation the biopsies are fast tracked and other tests such as scans are likely to be ordered without waiting for biopsy results to become available. A micro-invasion may only need local treatment.

In your particular case you are unlikely to have anything more serious that  a moderate to severe level of abnormality. If this is confirmed on biopsy (CIN 2 – CIN 3) which often equates with moderate to severe dyskaryosis you are likely to be offered a treatment. This is usually a larger treatment biopsy called a large loop excision of the transformation zone (LLETZ).

It is also possible if the biopsy shows that the level of abnormality is low to moderate (CIN1 and 2) that you may be offered a 'wait and see' option to see if the level of abnormality resolves (reverts back to normal) itself over a period of time. There is more information on treatment of cervical abnormalities on the link here.

Treatment is very successful and more than 80% of women who have a colposcopy treatment will not need another one.

The majority of abnormal cell changes on the cervix detected by cervical screening are caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV). HPV is a common infection and it is estimated that most people who are sexually active will get HPV at some stage in their lives. Most people will have no symptoms and their immune system will clear it up in a year or two without them ever knowing they had it. Once the HPV clears any cervical cell abnormalities also clear (go away). It is possible for HPV to lay dormant (not detectable) and for some reason (maybe decades later) it is triggered to become active, so it is not possible to say when you became infected.

HPV can persist (not go away), it is not certain why some women retain HPV. We do know that women who smoke or have a defective immune system are more at risk of HPV persisting. Younger women are more likely to clear the infection probably because they have better immune systems. This is why cervical screening is not done before the age of 25. It is also why younger women (25 and under) are more likely to be offered a ‘wait and see’ option for CIN 1-2.

It is thought that by removing the area of abnormality on the cervix that the bulk of the HPV is removed. A follow up smear test is done 6 months after treatment to check that HPV has cleared. HPV is necessary for abnormal cells and for cancer to develop. But not all women who have persistent HPV will go on to develop cervical abnormalities or cancer. There is usually a long transition period from developing abnormal cells to progressing to an invasive cancer (average 10 years). In rare cases cancer can progress sooner.

Unless you are in an area in England doing HPV pilot testing only women with borderline to mild dyskaryosis are tested currently for HPV, and if positive they will be referred for colposcopy. Women with moderate to severe dyskaryosis on a cervical smear are referred automatically for colposcopy examination because of the high association with HPV. The test used in the NHS is designed to detect high risk types of HPV only. It does not detect low risk types associated with mild changes on the cervix that are unlikely to lead to cancer.

You can read more about HPV at the link here.

I can appreciate that this is a lot of information to take in. Many colposcopy teams have a specialist nurse who can give patients information and support. If this is the situation in your case it may help to contact this nurse and ask for advice in relation to your situation.

You may also find it helpful to talk things through with one of the nurses on our telephone service.  The number to ring is freephone 0808 800 4040 and the lines are open from 9am till 5pm Monday to Friday.

I hope that you get your biopsy results soon.

With kind regards,


Re: Can moderate (high grade) dyskaryosis recover by itself??

22 Aug 2017 10:45 in response to Lola30
Hi, Lola my name is Nur Maude I'm just get a result today for my cervical service and yes I'm little scare I didn't know if this could be very dangerous or not because I never get high grande dyskaryosis before in my sample I'm nervous yes I'm scared yes I hope everything is ok too for me

Re: Can moderate (high grade) dyskaryosis recover by itself??

22 Aug 2017 12:47 in response to Nurmaude


I am sorry to learn that you are worried about your abnormal smaer test result. But as Mary said previously, the cervical screening programme is done to check for abnormal changes in the cells of the cervix,  This is done so these changes can be monitored or treated to stop cervical cancer from developing in the future. So although it is easier said than done, try not to worry.

You should get an appointment soon to be seen at the clposcopy unit for a detailled examination of your cervix and hopefully they can reassure you further.

All the best,


Re: Can moderate (high grade) dyskaryosis recover by itself??

18 Oct 2017 20:49 in response to Lola30

Hi lola.. I'm going through a nightmare of worry I received the same letter and I am thinking why I haven't had sex in over 21years so I am climbing the walls with worry thank you for your comment it's a breath of fresh air I do have children all grown up I'm 50 years old and I have also been sick and constant diarrhoea but how are you now.. I think we always make it seem worse as it's a scary thing.. Take care 

Re: Can moderate (high grade) dyskaryosis recover by itself??

14 Nov 2017 13:34 in response to Lola30
I had my smear test about 2weeks ago. Came back severe high grade dyskaryosis. I'm worried and have to have a colposcopy. I'm 25. I never expected this!!

Re: Can moderate (high grade) dyskaryosis recover by itself??

15 Nov 2017 12:06 in response to NCReynolds

Hello to all who have joined in on Lola’s original post from 2015. I think it reflects the concerns of many women who get an abnormal smear test result in the post.

The information nurses have responded to these concerns on many occasions. But I am not sure if everyone reads our past responses or is able, due to anxiety, to take in the information or apply in to their situation.

As I have said in a previous response it is easy for us as information nurses to be less concerned about abnormal smear results. Our professional knowledge and experience of women in this situation allows us to put the concerns into perspective. Nothing in the information that anyone has posted has made us concerned that they have cancer. The NHS Cervical Screening Programme (NHSCSP) is done to detect abnormal cells so they can be monitored or treated. High grade abnormal cells if left untreated can develop into cancer in a small number of women, this is usually over a long period of time (average 10 years or more).

If high grade abnormal cells are detected on smear women are referred for colposcopy. This involves a closer examination of the cervix and if abnormal cells are evident a biopsy(s) is taken. If the biopsy confirms high grade abnormal cells a woman is offered a colposcopy treatment to excise (surgically remove) the small area on the cervix where the abnormal cells are. Colposcopy treatment is very effective and most women will never need any further treatment.

As women our best protection against cervical cancer is to attend for cervical screening and colposcopy when invited. The NHSCSP has dramatically reduced the incidence of cervical cancer in the UK.

I hope that this response and information in previous responses helps everyone to be less concerned. Many women tell us that the medical terminology used to describe abnormal cells is scary, and that information about abnormal cells is not easy to read or understand. If anyone is still concerned it may help to contact us by phone, some women have found speaking with us more helpful. The number to ring is freephone 0808 800 4040 and the lines are open from 9am till 5pm Monday to Friday.

With kind regards,


Re: Can moderate (high grade) dyskaryosis recover by itself??

15 Dec 2017 15:12 in response to NCReynolds
Lola30 I had x2 clear smears (my 1st 2) and then severe dyskaryosis on my 3rd and went in for a loop biopsy this week. I feel pain quite acutely but I can promise you that I didn't feel a thing (not even the anasthetic) and have felt nothing since. I've been wearing pads but, to be honest, it probably isn't worth it currently as there is so little residue- only when i wipe. I'm waiting on my results now but have received a letter in the interim summarising the (20 minute- including chatting!) visit which does confirm that a 'high grade abnormality' was removed. It is a huge relief to know that this is what they could see and now it is gone- regardless of whether it is cancerous or not- and that i'll get another smear in 3 months to confirm that I'm still clear. Hope that alleviates your fears a bit!