Define Dysplasia

The term dysplasia refers to a type of growth that is abnormal or disordered. Dysplastic growths are not yet cancerous but may develop into a carcinoma in situ if ignored, although they are usually treated before they can transform into cancer.

Etymology

The word dysplasia comes from the Greek “dys,” meaning abnormal or difficult, and “plassien,” to form or mold.

Dictionary Definition

Merriam-Webster defines dysplasia as an “abnormal growth or development (as of organs or cells)” or more broadly as ” abnormal anatomical structure due to such growth.”

Characteristics

There are four characteristics of dysplasia: unequally sized cells, abnormally shaped cells, excessive pigmentation, and unusual rate of cell division.

Cervical Dysplasia

Cervical dysplasia is abnormal changes in the cells of the cervix. Cervical dysplasia is found by performing a PAP smear and removed to prevent the development of cervical cancer.

Dysplastic Nevi

Dysplastic nevi are benign moles that resemble melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer. Dysplastic nevi are oddly shaped and multi-colored. The presence of dysplastic nevi indicates an increased risk for developing melanoma.


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