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Atypical Squamous Cells on first PAP after hysterectomy Atypical Squamous Cells on first PAP after hysterectomy

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  #1  
Unread 09-23-2011, 09:11 PM
Atypical Squamous Cells on first PAP after hysterectomy

Hi Ladies,

It has been a few months since I was last on the site, but know that I can get loads of good information here. I was diagnosed with cervical cancer in Jan 2011 after having my first abnormal PAP. It was a shock to both me and my doctor. I had a radical hysterectomy (Stage 1B1), and both ovaries removed on Feb 7. Unfortunately I did have a major complication--ureterovaginal fistula--requiring an additional 3 surgeries. My last surgery (abdominal bladder repair surgery) was in April and I had my first PAP smear a couple weeks ago. I just found out that I have atypical squamous cells. That was not the news I was expecting.

Initially the doctor (gyn/onc) signed off on the PAP smear results as not needing additional testing, but when I questioned this, he decided to do a colposcopy on Oct 12.

I am very scared--my cancer was extremely aggressive since it grew in less than a year. What if this is the same type. I really do not want to lose my vagina. I was just starting to get back to my old self.

Has anyone else experienced something like this??

Thanks,

Lauren

Mom to 3 boys (8,5,3)
Cervical Cancer, radical hysterectomy--Feb 2011
Ureterovaginal Fistula, Nephrostomy, Abdominal Bladder Repair Surgery-Apr 2011
  #2  
Unread 09-23-2011, 10:41 PM
Re: Atypical Squamous Cells on first PAP after hysterectomy

I understand why you are scared. I have heard of this, but not very often.
I am really glad that you questioned the PAP smear results. You have to continue to be your own best advocate.
Sometimes, doctors will take a PAP and the results can show up abnormal cells...then they take another pap and the cells are not there.
It is my theory, (not rooted in medical fact, since I am not a doctor), that sometimes we clear these cells naturally.That the next time around, they might not be there.

Given this theory, some doctors are a little wary of over treating a patient based on one pap smear.

On the other hand, given your particular history, why take a chance??? A colposcopy is in order.
This will deny or confirm the pap smear. The smear is not as conclusive as a sample biopsy from the colpscopy.

I hope that it is negative.
Make sure that you get a copy of the pathology report from this procedure and have your doctor explain its findings to you in full.

Good Luck.
I would do exactly what you are doing. Way to go, sister.
  #3  
Unread 09-23-2011, 10:58 PM
Re: Atypical Squamous Cells on first PAP after hysterectomy

Even though your pap smear a year earlier came back normal, that doesn't mean the cancer wasn't already there. Paps don't already catch everything. It may have been growing more than a year. Grade 1 is a good sign - if there is anything good about being diagnosed with cancer.

That being said, you're right to follow up on this new pap result. Try to take it one step at a time. Find out what the colposcopy shows. Maybe it will be good news. If it's not as good, you may have options other than surgery, such as brachytherapy or chemo or something.

I think anyone would be scared in your situation but there's also good reason to hope for the best. {{{Hugs}}}
  #4  
Unread 09-24-2011, 07:50 AM
Re: Atypical Squamous Cells on first PAP after hysterectomy

  Quote:
Originally Posted by iowacatlover View Post
Even though your pap smear a year earlier came back normal, that doesn't mean the cancer wasn't already there. Paps don't already catch everything. It may have been growing more than a year. Grade 1 is a good sign - if there is anything good about being diagnosed with cancer........I think anyone would be scared in your situation but there's also good reason to hope for the best. {{{Hugs}}}
I agree. You can see from my information that I had TWO negative pap smears before I insisted on my biopsy.
The biopsy told a more complete "story" about my cells.

Good Luck.
  #5  
Unread 09-24-2011, 08:07 AM
Re: Atypical Squamous Cells on first PAP after hysterectomy

(((Lauren)))

You have really been through the ringer this year. I'm so sorry it's not been a smooth path

May I ask--was your previous cancer squamous? Or glandular?

The girls are correct. PAP's are a screening tool and they don't catch everything unfortunately. The cervix has a large surface area when you think about it, so it's totally possible that a very early cancer could be missed--especially if it's growing inside the cervix.

It's possible that you still have some residual inflammation from all those surgeries that are throwing off your PAP. I'm glad, though, that you are having a colposcopy done. Better to be on the safe side. Remember, atypical cells are a far cry from cancer cells. I've had so many atypical PAP's since my TAH that I've lost count. Many of them reverted back to normal only to be atypical again a couple years later. I've had a couple of procedures to remove abnormal cells from vagina and vulva but we continue to catch everything early so we are successfully keeping it under control. I really hope, though, that yours is really nothing to be concerned with and will clear up on its own.

Please keep us posted on your situation. Hang in there!

  #6  
Unread 09-24-2011, 12:49 PM
Re: Atypical Squamous Cells on first PAP after hysterectomy

Thanks Everyone...I really appreciate your input and your support!!

My cancer was on the very outside of my cervix, so it should have been caught (in my opinion)--I have never missed a PAP, had 3 kids, and 3 D&Cs in the last ten years.

The cancer was squamous cell...although my in initial PAP (2010) came back with atypical glandular cells. Crazy!

I am not looking forward to the colposcopy, but I know it is needed to determine the extent of the atypical cells...I just keep praying that is comes back okay.

Thanks again,

Lauren
  #7  
Unread 09-24-2011, 02:19 PM
Re: Atypical Squamous Cells on first PAP after hysterectomy

My first pap following surgery was also ASCUS, and there have been quite a few other ladies here with the same experience. My gyn/onc said it is not uncommon for this to happen due to trauma to the cells/tissues (and you've had a lot!), the healing process, etc. All my paps since have been perfectly normal. (((HUGS)))
  #8  
Unread 09-24-2011, 08:00 PM
Re: Atypical Squamous Cells on first PAP after hysterectomy

Good Luck!
  #9  
Unread 09-28-2011, 12:04 PM
Re: Atypical Squamous Cells on first PAP after hysterectomy

I feel your pain. My first pap came back abnormal and I had a colposcopy. My doctor said I have HPV (human papilomavirus) and I have low grade squamous cells. My cervix was only partially removed during my hysterectomy, so it was fully removed after the results. After the removal, squamous cells returned on my vaginal wall. I had another colposcopy 9/22/11 and waiting for results on 10/3.

My nerves are shot. My doctor told me that I more than likely do not have cancer but I am "stuck" with HPV and I'll need a pap every 3 months to "watch and wait" because it could get worse.

I hope that everything will get better for you. Praying for you. Good luck.
  #10  
Unread 09-28-2011, 05:21 PM
Re: Atypical Squamous Cells on first PAP after hysterectomy

When i had the granulation problem, I thought that maybe it was "cancerous" cells spilling out of my vaginal cuff.
I have quite a big imagination. Problem is, this is a possibility.

Thank goodness they did not find any cancerous cells and unfortunately there is no cervix, just a cuff.

I would not know what to do if the cells came back. I would definitely have a GYN/oncologist monitor me closely.
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