If your Pap test results indicate that there are ‘high-grade changes’ to the cells of your cervix, it’s most likely that you have an HPV infection that has persisted.
It doesn’t mean you have cervical cancer. But if you don’t have further tests, and receive any recommended treatment, there is a possibility that the infection may cause cancer.
If your test shows high-grade cell changes, or 'high-grade abnormalities’, you will be referred for a colposcopy, which is an examination similar to a Pap test but performed by a specialist.
Your doctor will explain the treatment you need, depending on the results.
If the colposcopy shows a low-grade abnormality, you probably won’t need a biopsy. There are various treatment options if your Pap test reveals a high grade change.
Less than 1% of the women whose Pap tests show high-grade abnormalities are subsequently diagnosed with cancer.