Abnormal Pap Test results
The Pap test, also called a Pap smear or cervical cytology screening, checks for abnormal changes in the cells of the cervix and allows early treatment so that abnormal cells do not become cancer.
The main cause of abnormal Pap test results is infection with human papillomavirus (HPV). There are many types of HPV. Some types have been linked to cancer of the cervix, vulva, and vagina. Other types have been linked to genital warts.
If you are told that you have an abnormal Pap test result, you may need further testing. The follow-up testing that you receive after an abnormal Pap test result depends on your age and the grade of dysplasia, Sometimes, there is more than one option for further testing.
What has been overlooked is that Folic Acid is essential for cervical health.
Folic Acid—What is it?
Folic Acid, also called Folate, is a B-vitamin, B-9 to be exact, but it is not called a B-vitamin; you will find it as Folic Acid for Folate.
One of the properties of Folic Acid is that it protects the cells against changes to the DNA and RNA that could cause cancer. Areas of the body that replicate cells often are at a higher risk for the development of cancer; when a cell replicates, it duplicates the genetic code of one cell then makes two. Cancer occurs when this duplication process does not go right. Cells are supposed to make an exact copy of itself; cancer occurs when the cells do not make an exact duplicate.
Folic Acid ensures that the duplication process is exact. One of the areas where there is a high turnover of cells is the cervix. As a note, the intestines are also a site of rapid cell turnover; a deficiency in Folate can lead to inflammatory bowel conditions—commonly found in those with Cervical Dysplasia.
Although the Centers for Disease Control feel the Human Papillomavirus is the leading cause of cervical cancer (and hence created the HPV Vaccine), incidences of Cervical Dysplasia has not decreased in those who have Folate deficiency even with the vaccine (Cohen, 2011); this was confirmed in a 2009 study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention (Flatley, 2009
Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia (CIN): Another term for dysplasia; a noncancerous condition that occurs when normal cells on the surface of the cervix are replaced by a layer of abnormal cells. CIN is graded as 1 (mild dysplasia), 2 (moderate dysplasia), or 3 (severe dysplasia or carcinoma in situ).
Cervix: The opening of the uterus at the top of the vagina.
Dysplasia: A noncancerous condition that occurs when normal cells are replaced by a layer of abnormal cells.
Human Papillomavirus (HPV): The name for a group of related viruses, some of which are linked to cervical changes and cervical cancer.
Pap Test: A test in which cells are taken from the cervix and vagina and examined under a microscope.
Squamous Intraepithelial Lesion (SIL): The term used in Pap test results for abnormal growth of cells on the surface of the cervix.
Vulva: The external female genital area.