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Cancer: Cervical & Ovarian Message Board

Cancer: Cervical & Ovarian Board Index

Hello everyone!

I'm a bit of a lurker around here, most certainly in the last week or so. My situation isn't much different than lots that I've read about here, although I still have a question/some confusion.

Here's a summary of what's been going on:

Around 1999-2000, I had two abnormal paps in a row. My Dr sent me for a colposcopy and to be honest, I remember little about the details. I know my dysplasia was moderate, and it was treated with a laser (Leep? They only referred to it as The Laser"). The Dr told me that at some point I had contracted HPV, and that's what had caused the dysplasia. He told me to go back in three months for a follow-up. I had little knowledge of HPV back then, and didn't understand how important follow-up is. Needless to say, I didn't.

Around 2002-2003, I had an abnormal pap and another colposcopy. I believe I had mild dysplasia that time, and it was again treated with a laser. I was at a different hospital this time, with a different doctor than the first time in 1999-2000. Again, I missed the follow-up.

In 2004 my daughter was born, and in 2005 my first son was born. I'm not sure why, but my Dr tested for my HPV strain when I was pg with #2. She told me that I had Type 16, explained the risks, and said that we'd "have to keep our eye on it".

In 2007, I had my third baby. My Dr did a pap early on in the pg, and it was normal. In 2009 I had another abnormal pap, and mild dysplasia treated with the laser. When he was finished, the Dr asked me if I smoke. I used to, but I quit in 2006, when I was two months pregnant with my daughter. I explained this to him, and he said, "then why do you keep getting this?" Uh..haha? Needless to say, once again I missed following up.

Forward to present day. In April, I finally had my first physical after three years. While my Dr was doing my pap, I mentioned my high-risk HPV strain, as well as the gynocologist's rather cavalier attitude about the dysplasia recurring. While it can be tough to get, my Dr sent in a referral for me to see another gynogologist. I was fortunate to get an appointment the next week due to a cancellation. I met with the new gyno (love her), she did a quick colposcopy (saw a "bit" of white with the vinegar) and a biopsy. I made my follow-up for four weeks later [I](*pats self on shoulder)[/I].

A couple of weeks later, my GP called to say that my pap was "absolutely normal", and it was "great news". Cool. When my gyno's secretary left a message saying that she had to reschedule my appointment for my follow-up, I was less than concerned. I figured that a normal pap meant my biopsy had to be normal too, and that going back wasn't really necessary. When the secretary called me back three times to reschedule, I figured that I had better just go in. It wasn't so bad, as she was able to get me in only five days after the original appointment had been scheduled...


So this time we're looking at CINIII, severe (is there actually a grade III that is considered not severe?). She said the area is small, but it needs to be taken care of, obviously. I think I was a bit stunned (had NO idea one could have a normal pap and abnormal biopsy) and when she said the treatment involved cutting a "cheerio-shaped" piece out, I assumed she meant the laser again, and didn't bother asking. *ETA: After futher reading, I'm now thinking that she's sending me for a cone biopsy? She specifically said they'd be "cut(ing) out a "cheerio-shaped piece". She said I would have numbing, but not be asleep or sedated at all. Basically, it sounds exactly like my other procedures with the laser. I nodded and smiled a lot, and was out the door in five minutes. She told me that if I hadn't heard from the hospital in two weeks with my appointment date, then I need to "chase (them)".

Alright. So now that I'm over the "holy crap - bullet dodged" thing, I'm now beginning to contemplate the "how long have I had dysplasia" thing. And the "what if they can't see it all" thing. Ugh. My big questions are these:

1. Is it possible that the CINIII has already progressed to cancer, and they just don't know it yet? My gyno kept saying, "you DON'T have cancer" (I wasn't worried that I did...then), and I have to assume that she wouldn't have said that if there was a chance that I did, right?

2. When they remove the abnormal cells, is there any kind of [I]real[/I] chance that I'll find out anything has progressed to anything beyond CINIII? I've always assumed not (to a fault, obviously), but now I'm not sure of anything. I honestly didn't expect "high-risk" to actually mean anything other than the occasional colposcopy. :/

3. I'm going to be 43 in July. Any idea just how many bits and pieces they can burn and cut out before they decide to just take the rest? If it makes any difference, I'm in Ontario, Canada.

I guess that it's for now. If you've come this far with me, thanks. For what it's worth, I'm not completely ignorant when it comes to my own health care. I truly didn't understand what having HPV really meant, esp this variety.

Christine :cool:

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