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Cancer: Cervical & Ovarian Message Board

Cancer: Cervical & Ovarian Board Index

Hi JenBella. Adenocarcinoma may not be completely unique, but its true that it is less common than many other kinds. You have many good questions, I'll try and answer a few:

your surgery is still very recent and it is still totally normal to be experiencing swelling (aka "swelly belly") and numbness. The swelling should gradually subside, the numbness may, or may not. Many women who have had lymph nodes removed experience some amount of permanenet numbness and may also experience symptoms of lymphedema. Your weight gain may change or it may be related to your now having entered surgical menopause after losing your ovaries. You may want to discuss with your doctor whether hormone therapy would be appropriate for you. Some kinds of tumors are hormone sensitive and so estrogen is not recommended, but many cancer survivors can and do take hormones.

Almost all cervical cancers are caused by HPV, so if you've never been tested it is safe to assume you have it. Your follow up should include HPV testing, since if you are still showing positive for HPV when you have paps done (now called "vaginal vault smears" since the cervix is gone) then you would need to be monitored more closely for dysplasia of the vaginal wall. Yes, cervical cancer is generally slow growing, but adenocarcinoma is notoriously hard to detect. Because it can be in multiple places, very high in the endocervical canal, and deep in the endocervical folds or "crypts", it can easily escape detection with pap smears, even coloposcopy can miss it. It can be quite sneaky, so you may have had it for a long time.

Rates of recurrance for stage 1 cervical cancer are quite low, and as you mentioned the most *likely* place (but not the *only* place) for it to recur is the vaginal cuff. That is why you should be followed closely for the next several years to examine the vaginal cuff, just in case.

You have been through a lot, hugs to you and all the strength it took to get this far. Best wishes.

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