Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"
I am 23 years old, and I went for the first time to get a Pap smear. It showed that I had CIN1, so a month later I went to another doctor and they performed another Pap smear. Their results were the same. So my question is: what would be the best inexpensive treatment you can recommend?
Christina S. Chu, MD, Assistant Professor of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology at the University of Pennsylvania Health System, responds:
First, I want to reassure you that the diagnosis of CIN 1 on a Pap test is NOT the same as cervical cancer . CIN stands for cervical intraepithelial neoplasia, which is a precancerous condition. The "1" refers to a grade 1, or mild condition (grading ranges from 1-2-3, or mild-moderate-severe). Patients who have the diagnosis of CIN 1 require colposcopic examination of the cervix, which simply means an office examination of the cervix with a special microscope. Cervical biopsies of any abnormal-appearing areas can be performed at the same time. If the biopsies confirm the presence of CIN 1, you can be reassured that in about 70% of young women, these changes resolve on their own without any further treatment in approximately 2 years. Appropriate follow-up after colposcopic confirmation of the diagnosis would include Pap tests every 4 to 6 months for the next two years. If, however, colposcopic biopsies show higher grade lesions (CIN2 or CIN3), additional treatment in the form of an excisional biopsy (either LEEP or cone biopsy) or an ablative therapy (cryotherapy, laser) may be necessary.