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OK, the post I didn't want to write.... OK, the post I didn't want to write....

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  #11  
Unread 02-05-2004, 06:26 PM
OK, the post I didn't want to write....

(((Stella))) I'm sorry to hear that your pathology has come back as cancer. It's interesting, though, that you have lymph involvement--that doesn't typically go with a microinvasive situation. It's good that they are taking a look with CT to see if there's anything else in there. Once they know the extent of the involvement, well, they can come up with an optimal treatment plan for you. Please know that I am keeping you in my 'ers.




It's true--smoking does contribute to cervical cancer (or rather, it is a risk factor for cervical cancer). Smoking is known to depress the immune system, and since cervical cancer is commonly caused by a virus, well, an already inadequate immune system further depressed by smoking won't offer much protection from this type of cancer .

But lots of other things are risk factors--you don't have to be a smoker (I certainly wasn't) to develop cervical cancer or to have a fast-growing cervical cancer. And while some women's cancers do indeed grow fast, I can't help but wonder how many are just detected late. They may be going in for regular PAP's, but if the area with abnormal cells is not sampled at the time of the PAP (let's face it--there's a fair amount of surface area to a cervix), well, then you don't get diagnosed at that time. I went from a normal PAP in August to CIS in November. I just can't imagine that there wasn't a single abnormal cell in there in August.

And let's not forget that PAP's miss at least 20% of cervical cancers. And I think it's also important to keep in mind exactly what a normal PAP means (it blew me away when I learned this): if you have a normal PAP, that means that you are at low risk to develop cervical cancer during the next 5 years. That's really all it means. It doesn't mean that you have no abnormal cells (because they could be there and just not detected). It doesn't mean that you have nothing to worry about. It just means you are at low-risk. And as many of us have learned, that can turn on a dime. That's why it's so important to have regular check-ups with the gyn.

(((Ladies))) May we all find futures filled with health, happiness, and peace.

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  #12  
Unread 02-05-2004, 06:50 PM
OK, the post I didn't want to write....

Jeanine--

I know it is weird--the pathologist said I had a "smidge" of cancer (loved that), and in fact the invasion amount was 1 mm by 1 mm. My doc and the oncologist said that they rarely if ever see lymph or vascular involvement on an invasion that tiny. The reason they sent it for a second reading was to verify.

I got the prescription for the cat scan: pelvic/abdominal with IV contrast--whatever that is--and will be making the appointment tomorrow. I am still hoping for the best here, and will keep everyone posted.

My paps, too went from "normal" to HGSIL in 3 months. Your explanation of the limitations of paps makes a lot of sense to me and helps explain why. I'm not a smoker, either, but I did have that pesky HPV and of course DES exposure to help things along.

Thanks to everyone for their posts of comfort and support. This site and you all are a blessing in my life at this difficult juncture.
  #13  
Unread 02-06-2004, 01:59 AM
OK, the post I didn't want to write....

Hi Stella,

How do they know that there is lymph node involvement? As was said it is very unusual to have lymph involement with stage 1A. I had 1A and my oncologist did not even think it was worth testing the nodes. He feels them when I go in for check-ups and I had CT scans for 2 years (my request-was not necesarry) but fortunately nothing has been ther.
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  #14  
Unread 02-06-2004, 08:34 AM
OK, the post I didn't want to write....

You know, that is a good question. I am going to have my doc fax me both path reports today so I can check them. Maybe I misheard--I was kind of stunned when we met, and dh has reminded me of a couple things I don't even remember hearing. She DID say that the oncologist told her one possibility was a second surgery to strip some lymph nodes for testing, but I am assuming this is contingent on my cat scan, for which I am making the appointment today.
  #15  
Unread 02-06-2004, 11:25 AM
OK, the post I didn't want to write....

Hi,
I am glad that you are going to see an oncologist. I have an excellent oncologist in Manhattan who could probably see you a lot sooner then the 27th. <Physician's name removed to comply with site guidelines.> He actually specializes in laproscopic procedures and could do the lymph node removal if needed. He is a wonderful man.
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