Clinical Guidelines


Cervical cancer screening

Diagnosis of high-grade squamous abnormalities

Clinical question

GUIDELINE UPDATES - This guideline was last updated 7/1/2022


HSIL may be suspected from the cytological examination of cells from a cervical smear or LBC preparation. However, in Australia it has been considered best practice to establish the final diagnosis on histopathological examination of tissue obtained from cervical punch biopsy or an excisional procedure. 

Histological diagnosis of HSIL (CIN2/3) is necessary before proceeding to treatment, except in certain circumstances. Treatment undertaken at the time of initial colposcopic assessment is known as ‘treatment at first visit’ or ‘see-and-treat’ (see Treatment at first visit in Chapter 7. Colposcopy).


Consensus-based recommendation*
REC10.1: Histological diagnosis prior to treatment
For women who have a visible lesion at colposcopy, histological confirmation of HSIL is recommended before undertaking definitive treatment.


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WEBSITE UPDATES - This website was last updated 7/1/2022

Cancer Council would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we live and work. We would also like to pay respect to the elders past and present and extend that respect to all other Aboriginal people.
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