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What is dysplasia?

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Cervical dysplasia, also called cervical intraepithelial neoplasia, is a precancerous condition characterized by the abnormal growth of cells on the cervical lining or in the endocervical canal, according to WebMD. There are strong associations between cervical dysplasia and infection with the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus, or HPV.

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Doctors often uncover cervical dysplasia during routine Pap tests, since the condition usually causes no symptoms, notes WebMD. Cervical dysplasia often clears up on its own without any sort of medical intervention, although doctors recommend treatment to remove abnormal cells in cases of moderate or severe dysplasia. Undiagnosed dysplasia heightens a woman’s risk of developing cancer of the cervix.

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