Medical Q&As

Smear test - abnormal result?

I have just had the results of a smear test taken last December and the result was CIN III. I understand that this means that I have precancerous cells and I have been referred for colposcopy. What I am concerned about is whether I could actually already have developed cervical cancer and that the smear test may not have shown this. My last smear test was performed three years ago and was clear.

The smear test is a cancer-screening test and of itself is not diagnostic of cancer. The CIN III grade that you refer to indicates that further testing is necessary and the colposcopy will establish the extent of the abnormality in your cervix. CIN III indicates that there is a strong possibility that the cells in your cervix could undergo malignant change in the future. There is no reason for suspecting that such progression has taken place at this stage. I would suggest that you take a positive view of your situation. You donít have cancer but your test indicates that you could have gone on to develop cervical cancer had you not undergone the smear test. Your experience is a powerful justification for screening. You might like to learn more about smear testing and the significance of the various test results by reading two linked articles. The first article can be found at: http://www.irishhealth.com/index.html?level=4&id=2928, and the second is located at: http://www.irishhealth.com/index.html?level=4&id=3044.