Cervical dysplasia

Alternative Names

Cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN); Precancerous changes of the cervix

Definition of Cervical dysplasia

Cervical dysplasia is the abnormal appearance of cells on the surface of the when they are looked at underneath a microscope. Although this is not cancer, it is considered a precancerous condition.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Most cases of cervical dysplasia occur in women ages 25 – 35, although it can develop at any age.


There are usually no symptoms.

Signs and tests

A pelvic examination is usually normal.


It can take 10 years or longer for cervical dysplasia to develop into cancer.

Expectations (prognosis)

Early diagnosis and prompt treatment cure nearly all cases of cervical dysplasia.


Susan Storck, MD, FACOG, Chief, Eastside Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound, Redmond, WA; Clinical Teaching Faculty, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 2/21/2010

Female reproductive anatomy
Cervical neoplasia

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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