Frequently Asked Questions
What is an Anal Pap?
 
  An anal Pap test is performed by inserting a swab into the anus while you are lying on your left side on the exam table in a fetal position or standing bent over the exam table. The swab is rotated around the entire anal canal to collect some superficial cells. Those cells are then examined in a lab under a microscope.

Understanding Anal Pap Results

    Benign or normal: There are no abnormal changes in the cells and no further evaluation or treatment is needed.

  • Unsatisfactory or Inadequate: The specimen collected was not adequate and your provider will likely recommend a repeat anal pap test at your next appointment.

    Unsatisfactory or Inadequate: The specimen collected was not adequate and your provider will likely recommend a repeat anal pap test at your next appointment.

    Atypical Squamous Cells of Undetermined Significance (ASCUS): The cells are abnormal, but no definite diagnosis can be made. These are non-cancerous changes. It may be caused by inflammation or associated with dysplasia.

    Low-grade Squamous Intraepithelial Lesion (LSIL): Mild dysplasia. LSIL could mean that you have anal warts or there could be precancerous areas.

    High-grade Squamous Intraepithelial Lesion (HSIL): Moderated to severe dysplasia. The cells in your anus show changes most likely caused by HPV. This is a sign you have precancerous areas in your anus. This does not mean you have cancer.

    Squamous Carcinoma: Cells show severe changes that are very suspicious for cancer.

    If the Anal pap test has any abnormal result, the next step is to get a magnified exam of the anal canal. The procedure is called High Resolution Anoscopy (HRA).

    More information about anal dysplasia and anal cancer: https://analcancerinfo.ucsf.edu/anal-cancer