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Cancer: Cervical & Ovarian Message Board

Cancer: Cervical & Ovarian Board Index

Hi, I'm new here. I had my first abnormal pap four years ago (after over 20 years of normal). It showed as ASCUS. I was positive for high-risk HPV, so I had a colposcopy and biopsy. Biopsy came back as "chronic inflammation." The next 2 years I had a colp every six months, then every year after that. She never saw anything on the colp, but every time I still got the same ASCUS result on the pap. I moved to a new state a few months ago and scheduled my regular exam and colp with a new doctor. He said he'd rather do another pap first instead of doing the colp right off. Okay, so last night the doctor called me and says now it came back as "high-grade dysplasia." I assume that is the HGSIL I've read about. So, he says to schedule the colp now, and they can get me in "within the next few weeks" (like I want to wait that long???)
Everything I read on the web just confuses me. One says HGSIL is NOT cancer, one says it is (just not invasive), one says it can be, one says it can be not as serious as the pap would indicate. I want to know now what is wrong with me and how they're going to fix it, and I'm going to have to wait for the colp (which I wish he would have done first off like I'd scheduled) probably wait for a biopsy result, etc.
Needless to say, this is freaking me out! I came here to talk to actual women who have been through this instead of reading medical sites. Thanks!
[QUOTE=jujukitty;3105674]Everything I read on the web just confuses me. One says HGSIL is NOT cancer, one says it is (just not invasive), one says it can be, one says it can be not as serious as the pap would indicate[/QUOTE]

Hi jujukitty & welcome !!! : )

HGSIL is considered to be a high grade lesion, a precancerous condition, and not cancer. The severity of the lesion is classified by grade LGSIL (low grade) and HGSIL (High grade). The abnormal cell growth is called cervical dysplasia & is linked to the high risk strains of HPV. Dysplasia is separated into categories known as CIN:
CIN I- Mild dysplasia- a few abnormal cells in the lining of the cervix
CIN II- Moderate dysplasia- half the cells in the lining are abnormal
CIN II- Severe dysplasia- the entire thickness of the lining is abnormal

Carcinoma in situ is often clumped together with CIN III, and is referred to as cancer in place but still not cancer. I know, confusing as heck. Basically, what is keeping it from being classified as cancer is it has not spread beyond the surface & invaded the tissue.

As for it saying it may not be as serious as the pap indicates, this basically is just leaving a margin for error. It is possible for there to be a discrepancy from the pap to the colpo/biopsy. The pap may say HGSIL (CIN II-III), and the biopsy may confirm LGSIL (CIN I). Or it can also go the other way, as it did in my case. My pap said LGSIL (CIN I) My colpo/biopsy pathology report stated HGSIL (CIN II-III) and my LEEP pathology report came back confirming CIN III.

The colposcopy/biopsy pathology report is crutial in terms of determining proper treatment. It REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY sucks you have to wait a month. I am so sorry you have to go through all of this. I can tell you through experiencing the waiting is never ending, so for your own sanity, try your very best to distract yourself. I know that is so much easier said than done too. In fact, you and I are in a similiar waiting boat. I have to have a cystoscopy done in four weeks, which is kinda like a colposcopy for the bladder sort of speak. My appointment is on August 13th, and I know this waiting is going to stink royally, but I also know I have to find a way to keep myself occupied for the sake of my mental well being. Plus the stress does contribute to the physical. Thankfully the women here are remarkably supportive, and full of knowledge and experience which truly helps.

Again, welcome & sorry you are going through this. If it makes you feel any better you are not alone in the four week count still stinks huh, but better to go through it with someone else than alone. Hang in there, cause the waiting unfortunatley keeps on trucking...

Hi juju!

Welcome to the board! :) I'm sorry to hear about your abnormal paps and HGSIL result on the last pap. I, too, have been having abnormal paps for almost 3 years now and all my biopsies have come back benign until this past May which showed I had between CIN I and CIN II.

Freaking out is entirely normal! If no one around you is going through this, you feel entirely alone and it's very hard for women who aren't going through this to relate. They can sympathize, but not empathize. So that's what we're here for! :)

Believe me when I tell you that this is incredibly common. This is not a good thing, of course, but take some comfort in the fact that it's not as rare as you may have initially thought. At least 80% of sexually active people have HPV but just not everyone exhibits symptoms (warts or abnormal paps). Lucky us, we get the abnormal paps! :mad:

Remember that paps are only a screening tool. They cannot tell us what is wrong with us exactly, only a biopsy can do that. So even though your pap came back high grade, your biopsy could show maybe low grade or no dysplasia.

Even if your biopsy comes back as high grade (CIN II or CIN III), there are options for treating this dysplasia. It is NOT cancer but merely the precursor to it. In fact, not all CIN III progresses to invasive cancer! It is more likely to progress than CIN I or CIN II, but it's not an absolute indicator that you will get cancer if you leave CIN III untreated. However, to avoid that risky chance of it becoming cancer, there are several minor surgical options to remove the pre-cancerous lesions (LEEP, laser, etc).

Also remember that waiting a few weeks for a biopsy is not a threat to your health AT ALL. Dysplasia is very, very slow to progress -- it takes up to 10 years to go from dysplasia to invasive cancer! So the only danger in waiting a couple of weeks is the mental aspect--- the waiting game is the worst, psychologically speaking!

I hope these boards help you. Please don't try and freak out now, there really is no point! You don't know what's going on exactly until you get the biopsy, which may show nothing! But even if it does come back as some type of dysplasia, rest assure that it is ALL very easily and simply treated with minimal risks involved.

In the meantime, I would recommend certain lifestyle changes. Get plenty of rest, quit smoking if you do, exercise regularly, eat PLENTY of veggies and fruits, and look into taking some vitamin supplements to help suppress your HPV strain. Oh and avoid STRESS! That's also really important. :) There are some threads on this board that mention specific supplements, food choices, and lifestyle changes that are aimed towards making the HPV strain dormant.

I hope you're feeling better about this! Trust me, I was an emotional wreck when I found out about my dysplasia. But two months later after talking to the girls here and doing my own research and diet/lifestyle changes, I feel much more in control and in charge of my body and life than when I just got diagnosed. I know that sounds a bit trite, but this type of condition is easily managed and monitered. Remember that many other women around you are going through this and keep yourself informed! Take care and let us know how things go for you! :angel:

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