Low grade squamous intraepithelial lesion is a type of irregular development of squamous cells on the top layer of the cervix. The cervix, as we know, is a little organ, in the form of a cylinder that lies as a part of the lower end of the uterus. It is the uterus wherein there is an implantation of the egg and the development of the fetus. Squamous cells are scaly looking flattened epithelial cells. These cells help in the movement, distribution and absorption of various nutrients and liquids in the body.
A Low Grade Intraepithelial lesion is a condition in which a little part of the cervix is affected and the cells have low levels of abnormality. Conversely, a high grade squamous intraepithelial lesion(HGSIL) is a condition in which a larger area of the cervix is affected and the cells are largely abnormal.
Low Grade Squamous Intraepithelial Lesion Symptoms
Initially, there are no visible signs. But the lesions do take form of itching and inflammation in more than 50 percent of cases. There is foul smelling discharge and bleeding as well,. The lesions which begin as skin inflammation take the shape of a lump which can become rigid and ulcerated.
- Low Grade Squamous intraepithelial lesions are usually caused due to infection or a minor injury.
- LGSIL does not mean that the person is having cancer but it can be a warning sign. The presence of low grade squamous intraepithelial lesions show changes in cells that may happen before the incidence of cancer
- The chances of an LSIL detected on a pap smear test, even when the cervical cancer is already present, is less than one percent.
LSIL Risk Factors
The incidence of LSIL in the cervix is mostly found in women in post menopause, though it has been noticed that the risk factors are also being seen increasingly in younger women. The possible risk factors for Low grade squamous intraepithelial lesion are human papillomavirus (HPV) infection,human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), smoking, immunosuppression, bartholin’s gland cancer, malignant melanoma and vulvar sarcoma.
- An obstetrician and/or a gynecologist will carry out various diagnostic tests to confirm the presence of low grade squamous intraepithelial lesions. A Pap smear or a colposcopy is used to diagnose this condition.
- In colonoscopy, there is visual checkup of the vagina and the cervix through a magnifying machine with light, known as colposcope. In case of pap smear, loose cells in the cervix are scraped off and are spread on a glass slide, which are then checked under a microscope. Papsmear can help find out abnormalities in the cells.
- Biopasy performed during a colposcopy is one of the best ways to find out the presence of Low grade intraepithelial lesion. The biopsy is a process in which living cells or tissues are removed from the glands or other parts of the body and is investigated under a microscope or in a culture, an artificial process to grow cells and tissues in the lab. This helps in finding out if the patient has LGSIL and the line of treatment.
Low grade squamous intraepithelial lesion – treatment
- Low grade squamous intraepithelial lesions can sporadically fade away on their own without any treatment. If LSIL is detected, doctors choose to remove them rather than make them go away naturally because these lesions are known to develop into cancer.
- The treatment of low grade squamous intraepithelial lesion is intended to destroy and remove abnormal cells living in the cervix and thus make possible the growth of healthy cells in these areas.
- Low grade squamous intraepithelial lesions can be destroyed through various methods like application of sub-freezing temperatures on them, lasers, application of electrical currents or heat therapy. Freezing is not advisable in conditions where the condition has occurred inside the cervical canal. The therapy is recommended in the cases of little abnormalities that have not yet entered the cervix.
One of the most recommended ways to prevent Low grade squamous intraepithelial lesions is reducing on promiscuous behavior with multiple partners and having safe sex.