12th November 2019


How long does it take for precancerous cells to become cancerous?

Removing cells that are pre-cancerous can prevent cervical cancer from developing. If left untreated, pre-cancerous cells may progress to cancer cells, but that can take 10 to 15 years. Screening tests can find changes in cervical cells before cancer develops and help prevent cervical cancer.

Then, what does it mean when you have precancerous cells?

Precancerous cells (also called premalignant cells) are defined as abnormal cells that could turn into cancerous cells but which by themselves are not invasive. Sometimes precancerous cells progress to cancer, but more often they do not.

Can precancerous cells in the cervix go away on their own?

Abnormal or precancerous cells often go away on their own (becoming normal cells again) without treatment. Since it is impossible to predict whether treatment is needed or not, the Pap smear test screens for abnormal and precancerous cells on the cervix.
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