In women where any HPV has been detected, or if you have symptoms which may be related to any cervical disease such as bleeding after intercourse or between periods, then the pathologist will look at the cells collected from the cervix and report the cytology, or appearance of those cells. The cytology report will be underneath the HPV report and may state:
It is important that your sample contains two different types of cells (squamous and columnar cells), to ensure the entire region where cervical cancer may occur has been sampled at the time of the Cervical Screening Test. Therefore, the pathologist will look for these cells and report:
When this component absent it may make interpretation of your Cervical Screening Test difficult. If this happens to you, Dr Budden will discuss this and how it may impact on the recommendation for repeat testing or treatment.
Finally, many pathologists will report an overall conclusion to assist your local doctor in deciding what action is required. This may be as simple as a rescreen in 5 years or it may state that specialist consultation is recommended. The important thing to remember here is that it is only a guide for your local doctor as they are the person who has a complete understanding of your history and current symptoms, which the pathologist may not have.