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Cancer: Cervical & Ovarian Message Board

Cancer: Cervical & Ovarian Board Index

Hey girls...sorry for the delayed response. Since seeing a new doc earlier this week I've been preoccupied reading up on cryo and all that...doing tons of research too. I just faxed a bunch of medical records to a THIRD doctor today- one at a medical college, hoping once again for another opinion. Hahah I wonder what my insurance company thinks of all this!! (actually, probably not so funny...)

My biggest gripe is that my results are kind of ambigous, and have been done in different labs, by different docs/pathologists over the past year. It makes me wonder about the subjectivity of how they "call" a result. I hate not knowing EXACTLY what my diagnosis is too! And maybe when I think its getting better, it is jsut the different doc's eye. Uggg.. who knows. My docs have always given a general interpretation of what the pathology reports say, and maybe I just dont know how to ask the right questions when I'm on the spot. I'm definately preparing better for the next one.

Anyways, the first doc recommended cryo as she errs on the side of caution, while the doc I've just recently seen suggested cryo, and his reasoning being that I would likely just keep getting abnormal paps, and why not take care of it with a simple procedure which helps 90% of women have normal paps. he also recommended cryo since I jump back and forth between home and school out in LA, and have different docs. Maybe he's worried I wouldnt follow up. After leaving his office I was 75% confident of his recommendations to do cryo, and he said I'd need to call back the next day to schedule ( I told him I wanted to think it over). He said it was best to do it early next week, having just gotten off my period, and that he'd be out of town the next couple days. My window for deciding was small. That whole next day I read and researched frantically, and alas, business hours were over and I hadnt called. I still just CANT bring myself to call, and I think that says something...I'm just not comfortable with it.

In addition to getting a third opinion (which is in the works right now) I plan on finding a natural doctor when I get back to LA (I'm home from school in Wisconsin for the summer...). My life is pretty crazy right now, which is one worry of mine in terms of sticking to a health regimine. Right now I feel like I'm just sort of following my own instincts as far as vitamins, taking different ones as I read about them. I wonder if this is counter-intuitive or bad in any way...? i also take a few different brands of vitamins, depending on if I'm near a "natural food store" (dont want to name names...).

One thing I've been wondering: do they do HPV testing on the pap smears? I've never been HPV DNA tested, but in the pathology report "history" section, it cites a result as "ASCUS, HR HPV". This sounds like a diagnosis of high risk HPV, but I was never aware of being tested. I know it doesnt make a whole lot of difference, but one thing I've been reading in the research is how the progression of dysplasia to cancer can depend a great deal on if you have low risk or high risk HPV.

Which also makes me wonder...if there's an underlying VIRUS that is causing issues for our cervixes (cervices?), how is just cutting/burning/freezing/lasering out the "bad" parts going to solve anything??? Isnt it just as likely to cause more issues? Cutting off your stuffy nose when you have a cold isnt going to cure the cold, no?? I just get suspicous that these docs feel they have to do SOMETHING, and with fear of malpractice or some such threat, maybe they are more inclined to take this route with our bodies.

I just feel so ambivilant towards ALL of it. I mean, its definately going against the grain to not blindly trust what one doctor says. To be suspicious of the whole medical route, to question it, to feel a strong inclination to seek out another way... at times I question my instincts though. I'm guessing y'all have had similar feelings...?? Like, maybe I should just do away with the "bad" parts like they say...but deep down I know that its not what's right for me. I need to heal myself! I hope you ladies are having luck doing so...I need faith that its possible.
Hi again Marielle!

I completely understand EXACTLY what you're going through now-- exactly! We have the same dysplasia diagnosis and unfortunately, this ambiguous result will generate different treatment recommendations with different doctors. Trust me, THAT in and of itself is frustrating!

So like I said before, you MUST be 100% comfortable with getting a procedure done. You said you were 75% comfortable with going ahead with the cryo-- well, I'm not sure that's good enough to go ahead with it, then.

When my first doc suggested a LEEP and I first got my CIN I-II diagnosis, I was upset, crying, and just wanted all this OVER with. In my emotional state, I wanted the LEEP. I wanted the LEEP because I thought I'd get normal paps after that and the problem would be solved.

But after I calmed down, I decided to seek more information. I joined these boards and found a great support network. I searched hours online for all types of information on dysplasia, HPV, treatments, natural treatments, etc. I made appointments with different doctors who were NOT all employed at my university (because they'd all be trained the same way).

As I said before, all the docs suggested different things. I went ahead with my best friend's mother's opinion who said not to get a LEEP now and I could moniter my dysplasia with follow up paps and biopsies for the next several months-- she's been a gynecologist for many, many years so her years of expertise AND the fact that she loves me like a daughter gave her opinion much more weight than the other doctors, who wanted to give me a LEEP.

So you see? I definitely agree with you that these doctors are being very aggressive and err on the side of caution because they don't want to get sued!!! Simple as that! My boyfriend is a physician's assistant and he's said that medicine is now based upon a "Cover your own a** medicine" protocol. It's better for them to over-treat than under-treat. This says EVERYTHING to me about why I've received differing doctor opinions. My best friend's mom isn't scared of me suing her for undertreatment and she would never recommend that I do something which could harm my health!

I'm urging you to seek out more information and opinions. I also do encourage the natural route as I'm currently on it myself. I cannot attest to its success yet, but as you can see another woman on this board, Shadow88, just posted her success story using a naturopathic treatment.

You're also right about these surgical treatments not being a cure-all. They don't cure us of HPV! And HPV is what is causing this dysplasia for most of us. The only way to guarantee that dysplasia won't come back or to make it regress is to suppress the virus via health changes, lifesyle factors, etc. Definitely read Dr. Tori Hudson's article on Preventing and treating cervical dysplasia naturally. It's very encouraging and the study shows how successful naturopathy is for treating cervical dysplasia...even CIN III!

You do have to be dedicated to the program, though. It's only 3 months so I think that's more than worth it to help the dysplasia regress and help suppress the virus. And honestly, it's not that bad taking tons of vitamins and eating healthier. There are also daily vaginal suppositories that help treat the abnormal cervical cells, which aren't too bad either. Really look into it if you're toying with the idea. There are tons of naturopathic doctors here in california and while it's a little expensive, I'd rather go this route than jumping into a LEEP which may not get to the root of the problem (HPV infection).

Take care Marielle! I know how difficult this is but realize that a few of us are doing this treatment and it can work, if you apply yourself. But definitely get more information for yourself and make a decision based on what you've learned-- you must feel 100% comfortable with whatever you choose to do! :) Hope you're well and let me know if you have any other specific questions on the naturopathic treatment.
Hey everyone...Just a little update since its been awhile! Since moving back to LA, starting school again, a new internship, etc. the whole issue of my cervical health was kind of left as a nagging worry in the back of my mind.

As an update: After getting a second opinion, this doc also suggested cryo, which I felt quite strongly that I didnt want to go that route...told my dad this, who then spoke to the doctor again...and guess what? He ended up telling my dad "Well, yes, she can take the watchful waiting approach in her case, as long as she's vigilant about getting paps..." And he did confirm my worries that getting pregnant down the road may be harder, as well as the risks that a thinner cervix cause for a pregnancy! At that point, I realized that going to a third doc was probably a waste of time because I knew I wouldnt hear anything different.

So now a few nights ago I'm sitting here reading this post, reminded of how I've been neglecting this issue, not taking as proactive approach--beyond some of the permanent changes I've made (quitting the pill, not using tampons, taking different vitamins, etc.). I'm feeling quiet anxious and guilty, so I do a search for holistic MDs in the city. I ended up stumbling upon a page for an integrative medicine center (naturopathists, MDs, etc all at the same center) which among many other things, has a specialized treatment protocol for cervical dysplasia!! I cant tell you the flood of relief I felt in that, FINALLY!! I've been meaning to do this all along, but kept putting it off...almost in denial or something. I made an appointment first thing the next morning. I know its a bit pricey (and obviously NOT within my student insurance coverage), but that will just ensure that I will actually stick to it and take it seriously! At this point, I cant wait. I'm so ready now, and its comforting to know that a holistic MD will actually take my concerns seriously and offer more than just the standard cut-out-the-bad-part approach.

Anyways, just wanted to share some of the hope thats been restored in me! I'll update you all on how it went (my apt. is in a couple weeks) and what they tell me.

Hope everyone is doing well, and take care!

I know exactly what you're going through. I'm a firm believer in preventative health/alternative medicine as I believe the body has an amazing ability to heal. With conditions like cervical dysplasia, we have even more leway to try alternative treatments.

I think you made the right choice in not getting the cryo. From all the doctors I've talked to (naturopaths, medical docs, nurses, etc), cryo is the least effective and can still create scar tissue (the usual side effects that come with a LEEP). And since you also have CIN I-II, you're not really jeapordizing your health at all by adopting a wait-and-watch approach. In fact, one doctor told me she had a patient who did a wait and watch treatment plan for her CIN I, and after 2 years, it cleared up.

I think a lot of doctors are quick to offer invasive surgical treatments (LEEP, cryo) when they're not always necessary. One doctor made it sound like if I didn't get the LEEP that day, that my CIN I-II would get much worse in a matter of months. Another doc (close family friend) told me that was nonsense and that I could wait to do another pap/biopsy in a few months.

So this is all quite subjective! *Especially* for those of us with dysplasia that bridges low and high grade lesions. It is quite frustrating but I believe we ultimately can improve our health by taking the right steps and hopefully helping our bodies make the dysplasia regress.

I have one more week of my naturopathic regimen and then in one month I go for another pap smear. I'm very confident that this will have worked as these treatments are quite successful with lower grade dysplasias.

So good luck with your naturopathic treatment! I really liked my doctor (she was in Monrovia in LA-- excellent doc) and she said she'd be shocked if this treatment didn't work. It does require dedication-- daily vitamins, healthier lifestyle of good foods and exercise, little stress in your life, daily vaginal suppositories, and NO SEX for the entire time! That one was tough and I cheated a few times (oops! haha) but I don't think that will affect much. So I'm sure you'll be satisfied with your treatment! Good luck and tell me how it goes!
Hey All-

So last night I had an appointment with a naturopathic doctor in an integrative medicine center...I know this is the right thing I'm doing!! Before I even came I had to fill out a nearly 10 page general health questionnaire--addressing ALL aspects of my health (mental, physical, etc). When I was there, first I told her why I was interested in a more holistic approach to my cervical dysplasia. We literally talked for over an hour, addressing everything on that health questionnaire, in addition to all my cervical concerns, discussed options, etc.

Basicly she allayed all my fears and anxieties about this regressing into something worse, letting me know that considering the stage that it's in (LGSIL and CIN I-II, favoring I) and the fact that I am being so proactive about it, it will NOT progress to cancer. If the pap at some point were to show something more, such as HGSIL, or CIN III, at that point it might be time to take the medical route with a LEEP or cryo. I was given a vitamin regimine, including two different kinds of suppositories. I do the suppositories for 4 weeks, and will do a re-pap in December or January, so my body has some time to heal. She also wants me eating a whole foods diet to help the whole process. (This will probably be the most difficult for me-- no refined grains!! Umm, yeah, I'm starting this after the weekend...)

Since I've also been having other concerns with my general health, like some kind of minor general symptoms, she wanted to do a full blood sample which looks at just about EVERYTHING (blood sugar, thyroid, white blood cells, etc.) to make sure all my other systems are in check. I'm really excited for this since I've never had this done! Let me tell you, its almost like a weight has been lifted off of me. To have a doctor look at everything and take every concern seriously and in a non-judgemental manner, its such a good feeling. Especially in terms of my cervical health, FINALLY I feel like I'm doing what's right for me! I'm so glad I didnt jump to cryo considering the early stage of abnormality. I know there's HOPE and I dont have to carry all that stress, which undoubtedly makes everything worse...

I'll keep yall updated as my treatment progresses!

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