Reference Work Entry

Blaustein’s Pathology of the Female Genital Tract

pp 193-252

Precancerous Lesions of the Cervix

  • Thomas C. WrightAffiliated withDepartments of Gynecology, Obstetrics, Pathology and Oncology, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Director of Gynecologic Pathology, The Johns Hopkins HospitalDepartment of Pathology, Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center Email author 
  • , Brigitte M. RonnettAffiliated withDepartment of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College and New York Presbyterian HospitalDepartment of Pathology, Division of Gynecologic Pathology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
  • , Robert J. KurmanAffiliated withDepartment of Pathology, Johns Hopkins University School of MedicineDepartments of Gynecology, Obstetrics, Pathology and Oncology, Division of Gynecologic Pathology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
  • , Alex FerenczyAffiliated withJewish General Hospital, McGill University

Abstract

The histopathological classification of a disease should reflect both current concepts of its pathogenesis as well as its clinical behavior. Over the last 50 years, our understanding of the pathobiology and behavior of cervical cancer precursors has evolved considerably. As a result, the terminology used to classify preinvasive lesions of the cervix has frequently changed. Although these changes in nomenclature and the resulting lack of a uniform terminology have been an ongoing source of confusion to both gynecologists and pathologists, each change has actually reduced the number of specific pathological categories and has made clinical decision making more straightforward.