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Cancer: Cervical & Ovarian Message Board

Cancer: Cervical & Ovarian Board Index

Hi Blazegirl, I've been regular with my paps since I was 19 (and I just turned 45). My paps have always come back fine. In December I went for my pap and my doctor asked if I wanted the HPV test, I said sure. My pap came back fine, my HPV/dna test came back positive for high risk HPV. My doc sent me to a gyno who did a colpo and ECC. The ECC came back adenocarcinoma in situ (same as TNWalker, but a different type of cell). After that I had a cold knife cone bipsy. For some people, the cone is diagnostic AND treatment, for others (like me) it is just diagnostic. That was where/how I was diagnosed with adenocarcinoma Ia1. My only needed treatment was the hysterectomy I had in June.

So . . . to your question about cryo and LEEP. I don't know a lot about cryo except that I believe it freezes off cells. I don't know if those cells can be sent to pathology. During a LEEP, the doctor cuts some of the cervix with a laser. As the laser is cutting, it is also singeing/cauterizing the skin to reduce swelling. The sample that is cut is then sent to pathology. Like I said, this can be diagnostic and treatment.

I didn't have either of those, I had a cold knife cone. It cuts out a cone shaped piece of the cervix around the cervixal os (aka canal). That is then sent to pathology. After my cone biopsy, the doctor passed the LEEP wire over the remaining/intact cervix to singe the edges to reduce bleeding. All of that was done under light general anesthesia; I was out, but only for a short time.

The difference between the LEEP and cone is that the cone maintains the edges of the tissue sample. If there is a lesion near the edge of the tissue, then the doctor can tell if it has clear margins or not (that is diagnostic). The LEEP burns those edges, so if a lesion is near the edge, then the doctor doesn't know if he/she got all of it.

Either way, the LEEP and cone help the doctor determine how deep any lesions are (if there are lesions) and specifically what type there are. For some women, that is the only treatment they need (if margins are clear, if it is squamous cells, etc). For other women (like me) it diagnosed cancer. While I'm not happy with the cancer diagnosis, I feel very blessed that it was caught so early.

Please write back if you have further questions. We'll do our best to answer them.

Have you scheduled your procedure?

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