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NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms


low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion  listen  (... SKWAY-mus IN-truh-eh-pih-THEE-lee-ul LEE-zhun)

  Slightly abnormal cells are found on the surface of the cervix. Low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion is caused by certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV) and is a common abnormal finding on a Pap test. It usually goes away on its own without treatment but sometimes the abnormal cells become cancer and spread to nearby normal tissue. Low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion is sometimes called mild dysplasia. Also called LSIL.

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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.