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Cancer: Cervical & Ovarian Message Board

Cancer: Cervical & Ovarian Board Index

[QUOTE=oldfashiongirl;3925320]Wow - minimally invasive cancer. I'm so sorry. Can I ask - what were the circumstances that lead up to that diagnosis? Did you happen to miss a few years of paps (like I regretfully did) or did it just come shooting out of nowhere? [/QUOTE]
You didn't ask me, but I hope you don't mind if I reply to this question.

I am 45. I've gone to my doctor for annual paps since I was 19. I've never missed a year. My paps have always come back good. I've never been pregnant and my periods have always been pretty regular. I was on birth control pills for about 7 years. I went to my general doc (never went to a gyn - never had a need for it). When she was ready to do the pap she asked if I wanted the HPV test. I said sure. That was in December 2007. In January my results were back. Good pap (as usual) positive for high risk HPV. After two different appointments with her JUST to discuss the HPV she sent me to a gyn for the colpo (instead of waiting 4-6 months to retest).

The gyn said my exocervix looked great. She didn't need to take any biopsies. "Just to check" she did an ECC to check the endocervical canal. It came back adenocarcinoma in situ. Two weeks after the colpo I had a cold knife cone biopsy. It came back adenocarcinoma Ia1. Two weeks after the cone I was sitting in the gyn/onc's office discussing treatment options.

FORTUNATELY the only treatment that I needed was a hyst to remove my cervix and uterus. I recently went for my 6 month follow up and she said I had a "perfectly normal looking pelvis." Strange to be thrilled to hear that, but I am. I go back in July for my 1 year follow up. If (and she expects it to) it comes back good, then I'll go back to annual visits! She is VERY confident that I won't ever have any more problems with this. HUGE relief!

Like Zoe said, I don't mean to scare you. I just want you to know what the possibilities are and that there can be good results (especially compared to what I think many people fear when they hear "cancer."

Many people ask about things growing/changing so quickly (whatever their given time frame is). I personally think that since the pap is only a screening device it doesn't actually detect everything. There are cells that are missed. Additionally, paps are good at detecting abnormal squamous cells (cells on the outer cervix), but not glandular cells (cells of the cervical canal).

Anyway, I hope that helps.
eta: I was typing while Lily was typing, so we repeated some of the same info. Sorry for the repetition.
You guys are so great and I can't express how much I appreciate you all taking your time to tell me your stories. Often we take comfort in statistics but it just goes to show that unless it is a 0% probability, SOMEONE out there is experiencing the thing that is "not likely to happen". Why wouldn't that be you or me? So I guess what I'm trying to say is that I do very much agree with the fact that we all have to be our own health advocates. I will start compiling copies of all of my pathology reports asap.

Hearing more about AIS, I am even more thankful that my ECC came back clean (besides the detached fragments). I hope it stays that way when I go to get the LEEP.

I'm going to tell you guys my story, although I am a little ashamed of it.

I personally don't know how long I've had HPV. I had an abnormal pap when I was 19, back when no one knew about HPV, and instead of getting the colpo, I ran and hid (stupid 19-year old!!!). A few years after that, I sporadically returned to getting paps (mostly due to lack of health insurance) and they all came back normal.

Well, in my mid-twenties I found out that you could buy birth control pills online and that was really my only reason for EVER going to get a pap, so I didn't get a pap for over five years (we've all heard the statistic of cancer being much higher in women who haven't had a pap in five years or more - well, I'm almost confirming that statistic). In the mean time, I had met my husband, gotten married, so who needed to worry about STD's anymore? I thought I had made it through singlehood free and clear.

For my 30th birthday I told myself that I HAD to get over my fear of going to the doctor and start taking responsibility for my health. I waited until a month shy of my 31st birthday (I was scared!) and made an appointment. My pap came back ASCUS and HPV+. My GP (not gyno) told me not to worry and repeated the pap four months later - this time ASC-H - which should have been a huge red flag but she waited another four months - came back ASCUS again. She referred me for colposcopy.

The first colposcopy in May (you know, the one where the thing got stuck on my cervix! :mad:) came back CIN I. Changed doctors and went for my 6 month follow up pap - came back ASC-H again. Doctor ordered another colposcopy and that brings us to my present diagnosis of CIN III.

I think my intuition was telling me, two years ago, that I REALLY needed to get in to see a doctor. I'm glad I did. I feel so ashamed that I took such poor care of my body for so many years. I am definitely making up for that now and won't let it happen again.

I've seen some of you reference CIS? What is this? Is this the same as CIN III or would my pathologies come back labeled as CIS?

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