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Cancer: Cervical & Ovarian Message Board

Cancer: Cervical & Ovarian Board Index

[QUOTE=Pickle Eyes;4078912]Pap smears only have an accuracy rate of between 40 and 80%. One member here looked at her pap results for several years. Year after year the reports indicated that insufficient sample was taken to give good results. She was never told about this. I think she had been told, all of those times, that her pap was ok. This is one reason I am so adamant about women asking for the actual pathology reports. If she had seen, year after year, that the sample wasn't good she would have done something differently (changed doctors, talked with the current doctor, etc). [/QUOTE]

Ditto to what Pickle just said. And, I am the person she is talking about above! I had my pap every year on schedule, and always received the card in the mail that said everything was fine. It wasn't until after I switched practices and was diagnosed with Stage 1a2/1b1 adenocarcinoma that I asked for my records from the old practice, and found out that during the time I was at that practice from 2001 to 2008 (six months before my cancer diagnosis), all but three of my yearly paps noted that there was "scanty cellularity" in the sample. And one of the three years where that was not noted was because that was a redo, as the original sample was so poor that it was unreadable. You'd think that that would have tipped me off, but I figured I always got the card that said everything was okay (but never saw the actual pathology report with the additional note), so when she called me back for the redo I figured that was the only time there had been a problem with her sampling during the pap.

Personally, I completely blame my old gyn for having missed something and for not being able to do a decent pap. I also blame her for not following up on other complaints, and not doing a colpo and/or biopsies as Pickle thankfully had done, never mind the fact that she didn't test me for hpv until I was 38. Basically I feel that my cancer was caused as much by poor medical care as it was by hpv, which is really sad considering I am and always have been well insured and always kept regular doctor appointments.

I also had some occasional bleeding after sex, but only in months immediately before my diagnosis, and I actually thought it had to do with other issues relating to PCOS and not having regular periods....although in retrospect I now wonder if my cervical problems had something to do with that.

As others have said, these things generally don't move as rapidly as we think they do, but I know how you feel. In May 2008 I was told for the first time that I had hr hpv but a normal pap (after 20 years of always having had normal paps). By January 2009 I was told I had invasive cancer, so to say this was all a total shock to me is an understatement. Luckily everything worked out well for me and I am totally healthy and have a good prognosis for me being done with such problems (I just had my six month follow up and had a clean pap!!).

Hang in there....hopefully the LEEP will take care of everything and you can put all this behind you!!!

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