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Cancer: Cervical & Ovarian Message Board

Cancer: Cervical & Ovarian Board Index

I understand how anxious you can be waiting for results from tests.

First, do you know what type of abnormal pap you had? squamous or glandular? Ask for a copy of your pathology report. Be sure you get a copy of the pap's results and of the HPV test.

The HPV results probably say that you have at least one of the 13 types. I may be wrong, but I think the test they ran (can't remember the name of it - for testing after the pap on the same sample) just comes back with "yes, one of the 13 types we tested for." My HPV test was a separate swab that the doctor did when she did my pap. I know it was the Diagene test. It just came back as positive (or negative) for high risk HPV. I don't think very many doctors run the test(s) which can identify HPV strains. There currently isn't a lot of need to know actual strain numbers except to know high risk or low risk.

When you go for the colpo, ask your doctor to also do an ECC (endocervical curettage). It isn't comfortable, but it is over quickly enough. It is the only non-surgical way a doctor can sample the cells in the cervical canal. At 37, and in a long term monogamous relationship and with a positive results on an HPV test, the ECC is a prudent test.

I also recommend you go to the doctor's office with a written list of questions. Leave room to write answers. I always find this really helpful.

Let us know how you are doing!
I suspect pain with cervical cancer is for later stages of cancer. You haven't been diagnosed with cancer. According to what you say, you have a low stage abnormal pap. There are MANY different levels between early stage abnormal pap and cancer that would cause pain (I would think - from what I've read). The pap is only a screening tool. The colpo will give the doctor a better idea of what your cervix looks like and get a significantly more accurate pathology report of what is going on with your cervix.

Atypical squamous cells are MUCH easier for a doctor to biopsy/detect and therefore keep an eye on or biopsy. This is because of the location of the squamous cells (vs glandular cells).

Also, the colpo, if she does a biopsy, could be diagnostic AND treatment if she is able to remove all abnormal cells while she is doing the biopsy.

I know I've already said this, but wanted to repeat it, ask your doctor to do an ECC while she is doing the colpo. It is the only nonsurgical way to sample the cells higher up in the cervix.

One more thing. I suggest you take some ibuprofen (or something similar) before your appointment. My doctor recommended I do that before my colpo/ecc. She said it helps make anything that is uncomfortable be less uncomfortable.

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