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Watchful waiting usually involves repeat Pap tests as often
as recommended by your doctor for the type of cervical cell change present.
Watchful waiting can be a good option for women who can follow through with
repeat tests. It may not be a good choice for women who think they will not be
able to follow through with repeat tests as often as recommended.
A watchful-waiting period may be recommended for:
It is unlikely that women with minor cervical cell changes
would develop more severe changes in a short period of watchful waiting. Cell
changes classified as atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance
(ASC-US) usually remain the same or return to normal after the first abnormal
result.1 Low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions
(LSIL) may be more likely to be identified as having more severe changes over
time, but most LSIL cell changes return to normal or are not identified as more
Runowicz CD (2011). Cervical cancer prevention and screening. In EG Nabel, ed., ACP Medicine, section 18, chap. 19. Hamilton, ON: BC Decker.
December 12, 2012
Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine & Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
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