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Cancer: Cervical & Ovarian Message Board

Cancer: Cervical & Ovarian Board Index

Prunella, I am so sorry you are having to deal with this again. :(

Jessica and Zoe have give you some great information.

Just as some background, I was 44 when I was told that I was positive for high risk HPV. I had had a pap every year since I was 19 and I'd never had a bad pap. I was (and still am) in a monomgamous marriage of 16 years. A month or so after the HPV news, I had my first colpo. The doctor didn't need to take any biopsies because my exocervix looked fine. "Just to check" she did an ECC. It came back AIS. Two weeks later I had my first cold knife cone. It came back Adenocarcinoma Ia1. Two weeks later I was sitting in the gyn/oncologist's office discussing my treatment plans. Fortunately, I "only" needed a hyst to remove my cervix and uterus. I didn't need any chemo or radiation.

Speed forward 11 months and here I am. All tests have come back "no evidence of residual tumor." My doctor tells me (and I believe) I am very lucky that the cancer was caught so early.

Anyway, what do I suggest for you? Have your doctor do a colpo with an ECC. I had an ultrasound of my lower abdomen as well as a transvaginal ultrasound. Get the name of a gyn/oncologist and see what he/she has to say. You've been diagnosed with AIS once, I would think a gyn/onc would have no problems seeing you again. Request copies of your reports from 2007 and see what they say. You'll need to have copies sent to any other doctors (for any second opinions). And make a list of questions to take with you. Leave room to write your answers. Oh, and call as soon as the doctor's office opens (you might even call "before they open").

How does AIS spread? Let me back up and tell you about the two types of cells that make up the cervix: squamous and glandular. Between the two areas there is a Transition Zone (TZ).

The outer cervix is made up of squamous cells. This is the area that is seen and sampled during a pap. The colpo also looks very closely at this area and a bit of the TZ (further up the canal). Dysplasia in the squamous cells is seen easily, grows relatively slowly, and grows outward from the initial leasion. Squamous cells make up the outer 1/3 of the cervix.

The upper 2/3 of the cervix is made up of glandular cells. Dysplasia there is more difficult to identify since that area can't be seen or sampled by a pap or a colposcopy. The only non-surigical way to sample this area is with an ECC (endocervical curettage). Glandular cell dysplasia grows here, there, and elsewhere. I have read that it is called "skipping cells" meaning it skips over healthy cells to grow a lesion elsewhere. Glandular cell dysplasia grows more rapidly than squamous cell.

For those reasons, doctors treat glandular cells dysplasia (and AIS and AdCa) more agressively than they do squamous cells dysplasia (and CIS and Ca).

Again, I am so sorry that you are having to deal with this gain, but I am so glad you didn't put it off. You are tackling the situation head-on.

I hope that info helps a bit. Please write back and let us know what you find out! (((hugs)))

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