Cervical Intra-epithelial Neoplasia (CIN)
What is CIN?
CIN stands for Cervical Intra-epithelial Neoplasia. It refers to pre-cancerous changes in the cervix that have been seen on colposcopy examination. These changes can also be known as dysplasia or SIL, which stands for Squamous Intraepithelial Lesions. Thomas Ind, consultant gynaecologist at The Colposcopy Unit often describes CIN in more simple terms: ‘Cervix; In the skin; New cells’.
CIN is used to classify abnormal cells that are found during colposcopy. It is graded numerically according to how deep into the cervix the cell changes extend.
- CIN 1: The abnormal cells extend through a third of the depth of the surface of the cervix.
- CIN 2: The abnormal cells are in two-thirds of the thickness of the cervical membrane.
- CIN 3: The cells go the whole way through the area.
CIN causes no symptoms, so changes can be happening in your cervix without you being aware. That’s why it’s very important for women to have regular smear tests.
CIN is not cancer, but it has the potential to develop into cancer if it is not monitored carefully and treated appropriately. CIN 3 is sometimes also known as carcinoma-in-situ, which does sound like cancer- but it is not the same thing. Cervical cancer extends deeper into the cervix. Removal of any abnormal cells at an early stage can prevent this happening.
Not all CIN needs treatment, it often goes away on its own, however, we do recommend treatment for CIN 2 and CIN 3. The good news is that treatment is straightforward & effective and 95% of women are cured by their first treatment, with others needing repeated therapy and monitoring.
If you’d like to talk more with us about CIN and what treatments we offer, please get in touch.
Does CIN mean I’ve got cancer?
Women’s Health Check
Sometimes you just want to make sure that everything is as it should be. We offer a general women’s health check with comprehensive feedback, advice and support.
The Smear Test
Nearly all abnormal smears show no more than minor changes in cells on the cervix (the neck) of the womb). These changes act as an early warning sign that over time, cervical cancer may develop if the minor changes are not managed appropriately.
HPV stands for the human papilloma or wart virus. The name refers to a common group of viruses that can infect the skin, the genitals and the mouth and throat. HPV is important because the viruses are linked to the development of some cancers.
LLETZ is the surgical technique most commonly used to excise abnormal, CIN cells from the surface of the cervix. Cone biopsy is the selective excision of a cone of tissue from the cervix. The area is identified precisely so that any cancerous or pre-cancerous cells are removed within the cone.