What is a Dysplasia?

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What is a Dysplasia?
Dysplasia is a condition wherein there is abnormal growth or development of tissues in the body. In this condition, mature cells are outnumbered by immature cells which go on an expansion mode. Dysplasia is considered an indication or possible progression to become a neoplasm, which involves the abnormal creation of a mass of tissue secondary to proliferation of cells. The cells involved in a dysplasia are undifferentiated and typically affects only the tissue from which it originates from. This is in contrast to other forms of cellular abnormalities that result to spreading into other tissues nearby.

Typical dysplasias are characterized by at least four microscopic and/or cellular changes. These characteristics are hyperchromatism, poikilocytosis involving cells that have abnormal shapes, anisocytosis that pertain to cells having unequal sizes, and lastly, the proliferation of mitotic figures or cells that constantly divide.

A common type of dysplasia is the one that occurs in the female cervix. The abnormalities occur on the epithelial cells and this condition is commonly detected when the Pap smear result is abnormal. Characteristic of this type of dysplasia involves the increase in number of immature and basal-like cells on the mucosal surface. These cells are not able to spread to the basement membrane though. And although there is little risk that these cell abnormalities in the cervix may lead to some form of cancerous growth, it is still very important to seek immediate medical attention. Some dysplasias also normalize or heal on their own without being treated or undergoing any medication. But to lower the risk of developing carcinomas, persons with dysplasias must consult with doctors immediately to have better treatment options.

Other types of dysplasia include those affecting the cells of the bone marrow. This type is referred to as myelodysplastic syndromes. There is also another bone dysplasia called “fibrous dysplasia” which produces a scar-tissue among health bone tissues.

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