Also known as CIN2 (Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia grade 2) this is a histological term that can only be applied after a biopsy has been performed with the aid of a colposcope.
These lesions are mid-way between CIN1 and CIN3 (between mild dysplasia and severe dysplasia). Whilst the CIN1 lesions for the most part revert spontaneously, CIN2 (moderate dysplasia) lesions indicate a degree of cellular change that frequently requires medical treatment oftentimes similar to that for CIN3.
Cell abnormalities extend to half of the mucous membrane as if at that start of a fire only half of the building is impacted.
A further analogy can be used to explain dysplasia vis a vis cancer. Cancer is like a dark sky full of clouds that rain so much the rain water penetrates through to the water table. This symbolises how cancerous cells travel, or spread to different locations or parts of the body, called metastases.
Moderate dysplasia is like a dark sky heavy with clouds but not yet storm clouds and it has not yet rained, and whilst it is possible that it will rain, the probability of this is low. There is time therefore to either take away the clouded area before any storm breaks or if the patient is young (that is to say < 30 yrs.) wait to see if the wind (the immune system) blows the clouds away.
Treating this type of lesion should only occur after all results of the tests and procedures are taken into account. These include: the initial smear test, the colposcopy, any biopsies, and the age profile of the patient. Each element plays a part in the probability of how this lesion type develops and therefore which treatment plan is the best adapted to the situation.