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Cervical Cancer Questions Cervical Cancer Questions

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Unread 07-01-2004, 05:03 AM
Cervical Cancer Questions

Hello to all,
I've posted before about my past experience with having CIN I and CIN II and LEEP. Since LEEP i've had one reoccurance with CIN I. The first time the doctor did an acid treatment and the second time the results came back ASCUS (Atypical Squamous Cells- unspecified) so i have to be rechecked in Sept. I was wondering if those of you with a diagnoses of cervical cancer had a diagnoses of CIN previous to you cancer diagnoses and if so how many reoccurances before it became cancerous? Also, can you have a good pap one year and cancer the next? Everything i've read says that CIN grows slowly and you have to have it for years before it becomes cancer. Is this true? I'm so worried i'm going to go in and find out its cancer one day. I've seen an Gyn/Onc for LEEP but see my regular doctor for paps every three months. Thanks for your input. I'm trying to have a realistic understanding about my cervical cancer risk but its hard not to be afraid.
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Unread 07-01-2004, 07:33 AM
Cervical Cancer Questions

I wish I could help you but my cervical cancer was found after my hyst. Unlike you I had normal paps up until I had went to visit gyn/onc for the hyst (due to other reasons) click on www to the left. That pap was the only one to show abnormal cells, but of course mine was endocervical cancer (harder to detect)

I do wish that could help you more but I will for you often.

God Bless
Unread 07-01-2004, 07:41 AM
Cervical Cancer Questions


I have always gone for routine PAP's every year, and never had an abnormal one. I missed a period of two years of seeing my OB/GYN, and when I did go for my appt and had my PAP, it was high grade abnormal cells then. I then had a colposcopy with biopsies, the results of which then led me to have a cone biopsy, where it was confirmed I had cervical cancer. After the six weeks of waiting for healing after the cone biopsy, I then had a radical hysterectomy.

My doctor told me that the way I presented was very unusual in that I had no previous abnormal PAP smears. As it turned out, they believe the cancerous cells began within the cervix and then spread to the outside wall (where the PAP smears are taken from) and that I was pretty lucky that it did not go the other way as I had no symptoms at all and would not have known about it until it was too late. I was also told that cervical cancer is slow growing, but my cancer was poorly differentiated, which is more aggressive....hard to say in my case if this made a difference, but my doctors told me that I always took care of myself and had regular PAP's, even with my two year lapse when my daughter was very ill.

It is presumed that I had/have the HPV virus, since most of us have this anyway, and the immune system either fights the progression of these cells or not. So, for one PAP smear CIN could show up, but the next one may be totally normal. That's my understanding, but I know there will be many others here that will give you their take on it as well.

The fact that your doctors are keeping such a close eye on you is a good thing. It is the right thing to do. Good luck with your appointments/results.
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Unread 07-01-2004, 08:07 AM
Cervical Cancer Questions

Thank you very much for your replies. I did have some symptoms before i had LEEP but didnt recognize them as a problem. I had a clear watery discharge and from time to time a shooting pain through my cervix. I didnt think to much of it though. Neither was to bothersome. I'm so glad to have this place to come to for comfort and companionship, so thank you very much. I admire everyone for their strength and compasion.
Unread 07-01-2004, 07:53 PM
Cervical Cancer Questions

I had 30 years of negative pap smears and two within a few months of my first symptoms of cervical cancer, a thin, watery, discharge that I only noticed overnight.

It tooks months for the doctors to diagnose my problem because the pap smears had always been fine. Even when I had a large cervical cancer the pap smear only showed CINIII. SOOOO, I have zero faith in Pap smears. My tumor grew from not visible to 5-6 CM within 3 months. It was run of the mill, squamous
cell cancer that a gyn/onc could see and diagnosis, 5 months after that discharge first began. Three months before my diagnosis, nothing could be fournd with a sonogram, including a pelvic sonogram and vaginal sonogram. Cervical cancer is supposed to be slow growing. In my case it certainly was not.

If you have any symptoms, the watery discharge, spotting after sex or bowel movements, or any spotting, get thee to a gyn/oncologist. Don't count on a pap smear to find it. My radiation oncologist said she sees 4 or 5 women a year who have had years of negative pap smears but have cervical cancer. A gyn/onc will know what is wrong, better than a pap smear.

Unread 07-01-2004, 08:10 PM
Cervical Cancer Questions

When they say that it takes years to develop they are making a general statement. There are exceptions to every rule. That is why vigilance is so important.

I had a laser cone biopsy one month before my hyst. In one area where I actually had a clear margin, it had already returned to the level of CIS in that area when they did the pathology of my uterus and cervix a month later! CIS was the level I was at to begin with. My doc said that it was "more aggressive" than they had originally thought and he was glad they did the hyst when they did.

As I said, from what I understand, it typically is very slow growing....but you never can tell.
Unread 07-01-2004, 08:49 PM
Cervical Cancer Questions

Hi! I had only had one abnormal pap, 6 yrs. before I was diagnosed with cervical cancer. I had cryo. for that, and normal paps after that. Six yrs. later, I began to spot after intercourse, which sent me to my ob/gyn. early. I had a normal pap just 10 months before. When I went in , he could see a lesion, and did a biopsy. I had stage 1b cervical cancer, and had a radical hysterectomy within 2 weeks of being diagnosed. That was 2 yrs. ago and I am doing fine now. I hope your next checkup is good and that you never have to deal with any of this. Maybe a follow up with the gyn/onc. would make you more comfortable, just to make sure everything is okay? Good luck!

Unread 07-02-2004, 07:28 AM
Cervical Cancer Questions

Thank you ladies for your advice. After reading posts from those of you that have been diagnosed with cervical cancer it seemed to me that there was more cause for concern than what my doctors lead me to believe. I just wanted to be sure i wasnt over reacting out of fear, but this is my body and my life and i was to be as proactive as possible when it comes to my health.
Unread 07-02-2004, 08:13 AM
Cervical Cancer Questions

I would caution you to not panic. Your doctor is not necessarily downplaying the significance of this. While each of these ladies has a legitimate, unfortunate story, they are the exception rather than the rule. As a general rule, CIN is rather slow-growing. I had years of on and off abnormal PAP's (from 1987 until 2001), and my situation has never been any worse than CIS. It just never turned to invasive cancer. Most women are able to fight this off and never need a treatment for it. Some will have one cone or LEEP and they are "cured". We are the minority here. Most women dealing with abnormal PAP's never visit this site, and many have visited this site looking for information and support, and never needed to come back because they were cured with their LEEP or cone.

CIN I and CIN II are really fairly mild forms of this condition. In CIN I, approximately 75% of your cells are still completely normal. Many docs do not even treat this level since statistics show that the majority of them resolve on their own. In CIN II, still one-half of your cells are normal (only half are abnormal). And these are the cells in the "skin" of your cervix only--it doesn't go any deeper than the top few layers of cells.

Now, I'm not trying to downplay your situation. But I do want you to know the other side of this--the side where more women actually fit. At the same time, it's vital that you be followed closely and that you and your doctor determine the course of action that's best for you. That might include second and third opinions. It might mean a hysterectomy. It might mean close monitoring. A hysterectomy is major surgery, and while most women do well with it, there is that small percentage who end up with long-term problems from it. All of these things must be taken into account.

Consider a second opinion on this. Go see a gynecologic oncologist. They are the experts in this area. In the meantime, do what you can to boost your immune function. Sleep well. Reduce your stress. Eat well. Pray/meditate/do yoga. Take a multivitamin with folic acid. Stay away from cigarette smoke.

Good luck! Let us know what you decide to do. You know we're here for you!

Unread 07-02-2004, 09:03 AM
Cervical Cancer Questions

Yes, please don't panic, we are certainly the exceptions for sure! I know many friends of mine have had abnormal paps, cryo, cones, ect. and are fine. It is the exception when it turns into invasive cancer, and I don't know why in some cases it does. I hope my story does not frighten you , that was not the reason for letting you know. I think as long as you are being followed up each 3 months, they will catch anything very early. Hopefully, you will fight it off and will be totally fine!! A visit back to the gyn/onc. would probably make you feel more confident that everything is well! Take care!!


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