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NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms


HSIL   

  A growth on the surface of the cervix with moderately or severely abnormal cells. HSILs are usually caused by certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV) and are found when a Pap test is done. If not treated, these abnormal cells may become cancer and spread to nearby normal tissue. A HSIL is sometimes called moderate or severe dysplasia. Also called high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion.

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Cervical changes; drawing shows a cross-section of the uterus, cervix, and vagina. Also shown are four panels showing cell changes inside the cervix. The first panel shows normal cells. The second and third panels show abnormal cells called LSIL and HSIL. The fourth panel shows cervical cancer cells. Arrows are used between the panels to show that normal cells may become LSIL or HSIL, which may or may not become cancer.