CNRI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CNRI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Cancerous cells, vaginal smear. Light micrograph of cancerous cells (dark patches) in a vaginal smear. This is a Class IV vaginal smear, indicating the presence of carcinoma in-situ (CIS), which is sometimes classified as cancer and sometimes as a form of pre-cancer. Vaginal smears can be used to test for cancer of the cervix. An example of carcinoma in-situ in the cervix is cervical squamous intraepithelial lesion (SIL), an intraepithelial carcinoma. Cancer of the cervix is rare and if detected early is almost always cured. Symptoms include bleeding between periods, pain after sexual intercourse and heavier periods. It is associated with infection with certain strains of the sexually transmitted human papilloma virus (HPV).
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