Q:

What does it mean when there are endometrial cells on your pap smear?

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Quick Answer

Depending on their appearance, the presence of endometrial cells in a pap smear can mean nothing or it may indicate cancer, according to MedicineNet. The malignant cells often occur in older women, notes PDR Health. Hysterectomy, radiation and sometimes chemotherapy cure endometrial cancer, also known as uterine cancer.

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Full Answer

The pap smear can only show that cells are visible; it does not diagnose any of its findings, explains MedicineNet. Other tests must be performed if necessary. Cells that are considered nonthreatening are noted on the results and observed after each test for changes. The presence of some cells are typically expected in pre-menopausal women.

Malignant cells can lead to uterine cancer, which is widely considered the fourth-most-common cancer among women, states PDR Health. If not caught in time, the cancer can spread through the body, metastasizing from uterine cancer to other forms. This cancer is highly treatable if caught early and is treated by removal of the uterus along with radiation treatments. With these steps, this cancer has a high survival rate.

Along with the presence of these cells, other tests are used to diagnose cancer, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. Atypical cells are important to look for when looking at the pap smear based on the cell types and their shapes.

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