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Cancer: Cervical & Ovarian Message Board

Cancer: Cervical & Ovarian Board Index

Hi, my name is Michelle -- I'm 35, with 4 children. Two years ago (June 2005) I went to my local Planned Parenthood for my first pap smear in 8 years. I don't know why I waited so long, and only went because I was having irregular periods, and spotting for up to 2 weeks after starting my period.

My pap smear came back ASCUS. They discussed with me the options I could take, 1) wait, and re-test 6 months later; or 2) get a HPV test. After much research -- I decided to have the HPV test. My symptoms were much too severe to ignore, and I had an abnormal Pap 8 years before (which my OB/GYN at the time didn't think was anything to worry about). The HPV test came back positive, and was identified as "high-risk." I was then scheduled for a colposcopy in September 2005.

During the colposcopy, they found 2 areas that reacted to the acetic acid, and took a biopsy of both areas. The larger area that was biopsied came back CIN III -- the smaller area was CIN II. I was then referred to a gynecological oncologist in my area to perform a LEEP. My initial visit with my new G.O. was just a review of the medical records forwarded from Planned Parenthood. My second visit (in late November 2005) was the actual LEEP.

I had initially thought that my G.O. was going to perform the LEEP, but was surprised that a first year resident was going to perform the actual procedure. During the colposcopy (done before the LEEP), the acetic acid applied showed that the larger area previously biopsied was high up into the cervical os, and requested the G.O. to make sure a LEEP was still possible. The G.O. came in and looked through the colposcope, and gave the "go-ahead" to perform the LEEP.

After my initial follow-up following the LEEP, the tissue that was removed came back CIN II. My G.O. said that was good news -- yet, in the next sentence told me they may not have gotten it all. He told me the cauterization from the LEEP may kill any remaining cells left behind, but I needed to be followed closely -- and a repeat LEEP might be in my future.

Mad, and frustrated -- I left the office in quite a huff. Yes, I feel lucky they caught this in time -- but in no way did this quiet my concerns for my future. Of course, by the time I got home -- my G.O. had left a voicemail telling me that I needed to follow-up in 3 months, and told me not to "disappear."

A few months later, I was having bleeding problems again -- and in May 2006 I decided to call my G.O. for that follow-up. They did a pap smear, sent me home, and called me in a week later for yet another colposcopy. The pap was ASCUS...still. During the colposcopy, the very same two areas appeared abnormal after applying the acetic acid. They did yet another biopsy, and at this time they did a uterine biopsy. The uterine biopsy was negative, yet the cervical biopsy showed CIN I and CIN II cells. He scheduled another pap smear in October, to give it more time to regress.

During my October visit, they did another pap -- then a colposcopy and yet another biopsy (of the same areas as before). During my follow-up a few weeks later, my G.O. told me they wanted to go ahead and schedule another LEEP -- to which I agreed and scheduled for the first week of December 2006. When I went in for my LEEP, my G.O. came in and said they wanted to do one more colposcopy/biopsy before they did a LEEP. Confused, as my last discussion with my G.O. seemed to indicate a LEEP was needed -- and I was expecting (and prepared for) a LEEP when I went in -- I went home again, quite frustrated and upset. I was somewhat relieved however, when during my follow-up my G.O. said the last biopsy showed only CIN I cells. He scheduled a follow-up for 6 months for a pap smear, and said the dysplasia seemed to be regressing.

By February, I'm having irregular bleeding again. I'm also having cervical pain during intercourse, and other lower abdominal pain. Instead of calling my G.O. I went to another doctor for treatment. Upon the examination, they informed me that I have almost no cervical depth and that scar tissue from the LEEP had cause my cervix to become inverted. Something I never heard from my G.O. on any of my follow-ups. They did a CT and transvaginal ultrasound for my abdominal pain, and ran a STD test to rule out -- well, and STD for the pain during sex problem (which they told me could just be due to my newly inverted cervix). The CT found a 2.5 cm cyst on my right ovary -- and the STD tests were negative. Of course, they told me to follow-up with my G.O.

It's now May 2007 -- my 6-month follow-up. I tell my G.O. of the whole ordeal with the "other" doctor in February and the ovarian cyst. My G.O. did another pap smear, and scheduled me for another transvaginal ultrasound the next week, and scheduled me for a follow-up to get the results yesterday.

So yesterday -- I get into my G.O.'s office and they informed me another G.O. was going to see me. When I get into a room, the nurse informs me that the cyst on my ovary was gone -- but my last pap smear was still ASCUS. She told me the doctor was going to come in and probably wanted to do another pap smear. I thought this was weird, as I just had one 3 weeks prior -- but I got undressed and waited for the doctor. When the doctor came in -- he was very attentive to me, and briefly went over my history with me. He said that my G.O. wanted him to "look at my cervix." In other words, another colposcopy.

When he was "down there" -- he stated that I had almost no cervix. I told him I heard that before and asked him to explain. He told me there was almost no depth at lower part of my cervix, and the upper part was extremely thin. He also told me that my cervix was inverted from the scar tissue -- to which I replied, "I heard that before too." He added my cervix looked inflamed. He asked me about any recent problems -- and when I told him about the continued irregular bleeding and pain during intercourse he laughed, "and you haven't begged Dr. "X" for a hysterectomy yet?" He continued with the colposcopy, and asked nurse for the acetic acid. After applying the acetic acid, he asked for the biopsy forceps. I said, “Did you find something?” He replied, “Yes, two areas. And if I had to guess, I’d say they’re probably CIN I and CIN II.”

After all was said and done -- he told me that I will probably need another procedure done. He asked me if I was up for another LEEP. I responded, “I thought there wasn’t much there to LEEP off.” He laughed, and told me that if he was me, and was not intending to bear anymore children, he’d have a hysterectomy to relieve all the problems. He also suggested that laser ablation of the abnormal areas was another option. He told me to start considering my options, and that they would call me in about a week with the biopsy results.

I know this message is extremely long -- but I needed to explain my entire ordeal, to emphasize my frustration. It’s almost two years exactly since this whole thing started, and I want all this to worrying to become the furthest from my mind -- not the foremost. One thing I know, I want my “fill-in” G.O. to become my permanent G.O. He was more honest with me in one visit, than my current G.O. has been in the year and a half he’s been treating me. I feel confused -- and would appreciate any advice, or suggestion as to which treatment option I should look at more closely. I know the ultimate decision will be mine -- but it never hurts to ask someone who’s “been there, done that.” Thank you for reading this.

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