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pre cancer cells on cervix pre cancer cells on cervix

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Unread 05-10-2002, 04:29 PM
pre-cancer cervical cells

I was told that the doc found, via a cone biopsy performed on me over 25 years ago (I am almost 50 and my then husband had lotsa girlfriends, you know, the "Free Love" era?). Well, turns out that when I got the first of two cone biopsies (conizations of the cervix), the one over 25 years ago, and the 2nd (you are not supposed to have more than one in your whole life) in 2000, I had learned that the tissue showed a *virus.* What it was was not then known at all. No, it is not HIV/AIDs. It is called the *Human Papilloma Virus,* a/k/a HPV, and yes, it is a venereal disease. There are over 70 varieties of this virus, and now, in 2002, over 80% of the college population has one or more forms of it. Some of the forms will eventually make cells of the cervix into precancer cells, meaning that they are squamous in shape (square-ish, not longish, like they should look). That is equivalent to severe dysplasia. In 2000, I had the second cone, after having the first *bad* Pap I had had (each year, of course) since the first cone 25+ years ago. Since I was once a pre-med student and have a touch of understanding about cells, I am forever curious and look up everything on the Net. I looked up information on HPV. Then, after the 2nd cone proved that I only had a little bit of precancer cervical cells and that they had not then traveled to the uterine lining or to the margins of my cervix, I was relieved. I thought I had it beat again. Additionally, I nagged one of the docs (who I left because he was mean and put all his work onto his students and didn't do it himself, like he should have--ask, and thou shall receiveth) to give me the blood test that tells you if you have either active or a DNA *footprint,* not active, HPV. I had to nag because the first doc simply did not wish to give me that test, but I wanted it, since I had read so much about HPV on the Net. Turns out that yes, I had a variety of HPV types, some of which in fact cause cervical precancer cells. So that is what led to the 2nd cone biopsy (conization of the cervix). Then, after follow up and at least 3 Paps, doc and I thought that we had it conquered. Then around the time I would get the fourth and last of each 6-months Paps, I first did not have my usual period and thought I could be pregnant. Then, I started to bleed real badly, so much that I hemorrhaged for over 5 weeks and got a D&C with exploratory camera surgery this past February. All was good, except that precancer cells were found once again, only far deeper into the cervical tissue. A couple of things: tell your teens about HPV and how important safe sex is. Another is my question: Does anyone else possess that *DNA footprint* of the HP Virus, and if so, what has happened to you as a result of that? THIRD AND FOREMOST: I am very scared to be having to get a vaginal hysterectomy at the end of May. Any advice of any type at all? A variety of different types of advice? Please do. Also, I have searched and searched the Net for one statistic that I can't find. My doc told me that some women who have the cervical precancer cells that I do live out a long life without ever getting invasive cancer. My question is this: what percentage of those women who have that condition DO NOT get invasive cancer? Anyone know where I can get this answer, because even my doc will not tell me, so perhaps he does not know. I suppose I need to go to a very expert site, but where? I am going ahead with the hysterectomy only because there are folks in my life that I love too much to let my body perhaps, perhaps, become cancerous, and then I'd die a miserable death on them. So I'll get it. I am simply curious about that one statistic, and welcome all discussion about HPV and precancer cells of the cervix, those stats, what happens in a vaginal (simple) hysterectomy, pre-op preparations for it, what to expect, especially, will I be adversely affected in the sexual arena with a vaginal hysterectomy? Thanks a lot, Kiki
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Unread 05-10-2002, 04:57 PM
pre cancer cells on cervix

Hi, Kiki!

Several of us here have HPV. I, personally, have not been tested for it, but my doc and I assume that I have it. It is speculated that HPV causes at least 95% of cervical cancers. You're right--it does usually involve the squamous cells of the cervix, but it can also be found in the glandular cells of the cervix and the squamous cells of the vaginal wall and vulvar region. What a frustrating virus this is! And it's scary that so many people carry it. I find it interesting though that only a few are ever symptomatic with it. Unfortunately, from the studies I've read, safe sex really doesn't work with HPV. Obviously, abstinence will, but condoms are not considered to be an effective barrier against HPV.

I don't have the answer about how many turn cancerous. Even if only 10% turn cancerous if left untreated, the problem is that you never know if you'll fall into the 90% or the 10%. And they can't predict that right now.

I had a TAH, but also had a vaginal incision since some precancerous cells were removed from my vaginal wall. I had a little difficulty with scar tissue that made intercourse somewhat uncomfortable, but that is resolving nicely. Most women do not seem to think that things are any different for them. You might like to stop by in the pre-op forum where lots of the ladies are preparing for surgery and can answer many of questions. Also, if you go to our home page you'll find some pull-down menus with all kinds of handy information on what to expect, what to pack, how to prepare, etc.

Good luck, Kiki! I hope all goes well for you. Thank you so much for posting, and feel free to stop in any time with questions or comments.

Unread 05-10-2002, 07:18 PM
pre cancer cells on cervix

Hi kiki, well you are certainly researching alot

I had a LAVH and all went well with the op . Please try to remember that a hysterectomy is usually all that is needed to remove any abnormal cells or cancer.

Jeanine has given you some wonderful advice about this website. You are more than welcome to post here at anytime.
Please remember that we are here always to help and support you. love always

I am trying so hard to prevent my cancer from returning that I am not even going to think about how I may or may not have contacted HPV. Also there are so many differing opinions on whether or not it is a STd/venereal disease ( my oncologist says not really , as nuns / virgins have been known to have it )

But this here is a great link to a site that I found on HPV

As far as I can find out if you have HPV and your immune system is really healthy and working as it should then the immune system will keep the HPV at bay and sometimes even kill it

Broccoli is a great vegetable for any cancer , I eat it daily
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Unread 05-11-2002, 12:10 AM
pre cancer cells on cervix

Hi Kiki,

I wasn't tested for the HPV virus, but assume I probably have it. I had two bouts with Dysplasia and 2 Cones....10 yrs apart.

I think you're looking for informations about the percentage of people who have pre-cancers which never progress to invasive cancer. I've been told that mild dysplasia often goes away by itself but that CIN3 often progresses to invasive cancer if not treated. I've never seen any stats on that tho....hopefully because most woman do get further treatment.

As Robyn said, most woman who have the hyst never need any further treatment. There is a need for continued Paps to check for bad cells on the vaginal wall. Mine were every 3 months for a yr, now every 6 months until 5 yrs.....then yrly.

You'll get some good information and advice about preparing for your hyst on the Pre-op board here.

Good Luck!
Unread 05-11-2002, 12:56 PM

I have not been tested for HPV (yet) but do believe I have it. I have had abnormal paps for years and finally had a normal one after upping my dose of folic acid. I had been taking it along with a multivitamin and a friend told me to triple the dose which I did.
88% of people in north america do not get enough folic acid. I finally had a normal pap in Jan. after 3 years and many tests. I also had CIN II last year and had cryotherapy.
I just had a endo biopsy the other day and am impatiently waiting for the results. I should have them Monday.
I am sorry to hear you had to go through this and wish our drs. would get better educated concerning nutrition and working with us concerning vitamins and minerals so we can enjoy better health. I have learned from all this that knowledge is power and the more you read and network the better off you are. I no longer expect my dr. to take me by the hand.
Good luck to you.
Unread 05-13-2002, 10:38 AM
pre cancer cells on cervix

Hi, HPV concerns first. I am 29 and have had the HPV/DNA test. It came back showing that I had just about every strain of HPV both high and low risk. I am facing a hysterectomy in the next month or so, after the results of my second cone. I researched HPV quite a bit becasue I did not want to accept that I could have an STD. I was also looking for other reasons that could have caused my AIS. I did not want to tell my mom that I had an STD. I still haven't. Anyway, what I found out made me feel better. I read that HPV can come from anywhere. Even children have tested postive for it. I'm sure mine came from sex, but what can I do about that now. I guess my point is not to condem sex. Yes it is important to talk to girls about sex, equally important to talk to boys too. (You mentioned that your husband was into free love) Also it is possible that he did not give it to you. You could have gotten HPV from anywhere. It is important not to condem women who have HPV or to label them ie, slut etc. Men get it too and are just fortunate not to have the same type of repercussions women do. Science is working on vaccine/cure and hopefully it will happen before more generations of women have to have a hysterectomy with out enjoying motherhood.
The best thing you can do right now is keep reading and searching for information. The more info you have the better you can face all these wonderful decison we get to make. If you have or knwo of a teenage girl or boy, let them read some of hte sotries on this site. That would ceratainly give them a perspective on early and frequent sex with multiple people and its "side effects"
Good luck to you, I have found this site a wonderful source of information and support,hopefully you will too.

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