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Two Atypical Pap Smears Two Atypical Pap Smears

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Unread 01-21-2004, 02:54 PM
Two Atypical Pap Smears

Hello Ladies,

First of all I would like to say thank you for all the suport I received pre and post hysterectomy. I don't know how I would have made it without this site and all the memebers. I had my hyst 4/9/02 and for the most part was doing great up until Sept of 2003. I went for my yearly pap and it showed atypical cells. Not to worry I thought. Went back for another one a few weeks ago and got the call today that it still shows the atypical cells. Ok, now I'm more than a bit concerned. I have an appointment for a coloposcopy next Thursday, with a biopsy. My cocerns are that I lost my mom to ovarian carcenoma and one sister to cervical cancer. I thought having the hyst would wipe out my chances of either cancer. Now I find out that there is a posibility of it being vaginal cancer!!!! So, I'm in desperate need of information on this. I would greatly appreciate it.

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Unread 01-21-2004, 04:02 PM
Two Atypical Pap Smears

What kind of atypical cells? Was it dyslapsia? What level? Atypical cells doesn't tell you much. It could be nothing, and most likely is.

Cervical cancer, as far as I know, is not inherited. Some kinds of ovarian can be, but very few.

What does your doctor suggest as your next step? Does he want to redo your pap?

Unread 01-21-2004, 04:13 PM
Two Atypical Pap Smears

's Judy! Welcome back (although I wish your return was for better reasons than this)!

I know it's easy for me to say "try to relax until the tests are done", but that's about all you can do right now. I had my TAH for cervical carcinoma-in-situ, and about one year after my TAH I had an abnormal PAP. It was absolutely nerve-wracking! However, when I went back in two months later for my colposcopy and biopsy, all was well. It was a tough wait for me, and I'm sure it's now a tough wait for you.

Lots of things can cause an abnormal PAP. Hopefully, it's one of those things. However, in the event that it is truly abnormal, well, there are lots of available treatments. Laser is a typical procedure to use as long as the cells aren't wide-spread. And remember--atypical is just that. Atypical. It's not quite like a normal cell, but it's not exactly a cancerous cell either. Your doc is doing the right thing by looking more carefully at it.

There is no link between ovarian and cervical cancer, and cervical cancer is not believed to have a hereditary component.

Good luck, Judy! I hope your test results come back showing that there is nothing bad going on. I will be keeping you in my thoughts and 'ers until then. Please come back and let us know how things are going.

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Unread 01-22-2004, 01:07 AM
Two Atypical Pap Smears

Recently I had a culposcopy for ASCUS (atypical cells) and CIN, with HPV positive findings. This was the third confirmation of "abnormal" cells, and I am having a cone in a couple of weeks.

One thing that it would be important to know, if you can, is what your HPV status is. If I continued to be HPV-negative, then I'd be less worried; however, thanks to auto-immune problems, my HPV status has "changed" (I probably was positive all along, but it never manifested itself in Pap smears until now). I expect these cells to be "abnormal" too, but will be keeping a very close eye on the whole thing to make sure.

However, many of these "abnormalities" can also be caused by vaginal thinning and dryness due to menopausal changes, so I'd wait until the culposcopy results come back before truly going into some panic mode. My doctor feels that mine is just an activation of the HPV; although it can be a pre-cursor to cancers, sometimes it's just due to atrophic changes due to lack of estrogen. Some of the literature I saw on ASCUS ("atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance") even suggested that biopsy was unnecessary in women who were repeatedly HPV-negative and without other risk factors.

I hope it all goes well for you. I'm trying not to panic, myself; my endo may make it impossible to remove my cervix at this point if it IS necessary, so I'm just hoping that the cryo takes care of all the HPV cells -- and taking my folic acid religiously, as there may be some evidence that suggests it helps your immune system fight off HPV infection.

Keeping my fingers crossed for you...

Unread 01-22-2004, 02:39 PM
Two Atypial Pap Smears

Thank you for you quick response ladies. I did quite a bit of research last night and found out that children of DES mothers have a higher risk of vaginal cancer if they are on HRTs, which I am taking Premarin 1.25 and have been since the hyst. I have not been able to confirm that my mom took this particular drug. However, she was bleeding in the first trimester and was on medication, but I don't know what. Unfortunately, she passed away in 1982 from Ovarian Carcinoma. Since I could never confirm she took this, I never passed this information on to my GYN. Oops! Also, the Doc has not told me anything about what the atypical cells are as of yet. And I have no clue what HPV is??? Can someone explain. Thanks again ladies.
Unread 01-22-2004, 07:01 PM
Two Atypical Pap Smears

HPV stands for human papillomavirus. It is a common virus found in the body and is responsible for warts in a variety of locations (feet, hands, genitals) and is also responsible for most cases of cervical dysplasia/cancer and some cases of vaginal dysplasia/cancer. It is sexually transmitted for cases involving cervix and vagina. It is estimated that 50-80% of women carry this virus in their genital tract. The interesting thing about HPV is that you can carry it for years and years and years and never have a single symptom and then it can pop up out of the blue and cause dysplasia or cancer. So, you could be infected with it when you're in your 20's (probably from someone who didn't know they had it--there are no symptoms in men) and then your immune system could fight it until you are 50 or 60 (or maybe only 30) before you had any sign of it. It's a very tricky virus. It's just one example of what could potentially be at issue for you. Lots of things can cause an abnormal PAP. This is not necessarily your situation, but it could be, or it could be someone else's situation.

As far as DES, well, it's true. If you were DES exposed, you could be at higher risk for clear cell carcinoma. Unfortunately, you have no way to find out now if you were DES exposed or not. That is still a very rare cancer, even if you were DES exposed.

Unread 01-23-2004, 02:00 PM
also checking out DES

I am sorry you are dealing with this now, I can understand some of your fears as I had cin ll dx after hyst in May 02. I decided to have vault smear done 6 months after surgery and then annual after that. I have had two clear ones so far.

I was intrigued to read your comment about DES as I have also been checking into this as I have had a paraovarian cyst removed ( still waiting to find out full path results on Thurs) and it was often linked to Wolffian duct remnants, I checked on these links and got to DES exposure. This then said DES could cause dysplasia in cervix and vagina even without hpv and is linked to a particular rare cancer called clear cell adenonoma.

The drug was given to women between 40's maybe even '38 onwards till '71 often to avoid repeat miscarriages but also for mothers who exhibited diabetes symptoms due to pregnancy and pre-eclampsia.

This is the link I would be checking out for myself, my mother had high bp and glucose problems with first daughter, but she herself could be a DES daughter as her mother had tb and was not in good health for a second pregnancy. Gran died when mum was 7 so we have no way of checking on that.

The other link is RA is linked to DES and my younger sister has been battling with a severe form for 16 years now.

I know I am probably making wild connections but I will be asking my gyn on Thurs if my cyst was from or in a Wolffian duct remnant and is there a connection to a vaginal cyst I had removed during exploratory hystosocpy before hyst, and was/could be connected to the cin ll hpv? dx I had from path report.

I agree with the other posts, it's still likely that your next check up could be clear and that the readings before were caused by a temporary inflammation. I am trying to be firm with myself and not play research scientist too much yet ( think I've done enough for my poor frazzled brain already!) and will wait until I have some firm facts from my gyn.

Hoping to hear some good news from you soon, take good care, Linda

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