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New PAP guidelines from the ACS New PAP guidelines from the ACS

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Unread 02-17-2003, 09:29 AM
New PAP guidelines from the ACS

s All

KathyinNJ shared with me a segment from The Today Show this morning. Apparently the American Cancer Society has issued new guidelines for PAP smears. Here is the link. Please read it and share your feelings with the ACS. Thanks for the headsup Kathy! (How do you like this weather? Spring is coming!!!)

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Unread 02-17-2003, 10:05 AM
New PAP guidelines from the ACS

Considering I am 2 weeks post op, I am not going outside much anyway. I am cooped up wiyh my 5 year old who is very hyper because of the snow! By tonight I may want to burry myself in the 15" of snow.

What really bothered me about the new guidelines:
1) 93 to 100% are from HPV, I was not diagnosed with HPV
2) After 30 test every three years or if you have a new partner, I have been with my husband for 9 years, my last test was approx 2 to 2.5 years ago- no problems found.
3) They state it takes more than 3 years to develop into High Grade Lesions, mine was carcinoma in situ and adenocarcinoma on most of my cervix non-invasive- if I waited would it have become invasive?
4) The first reason stated when they say why not to have it done each year is that the testing is EXPENSIVE! It always comes down to money.

Women had to fight to get Mammograms covered on a regular basis. Now I guess we have to fight for Pap Smears.

Unread 02-17-2003, 10:47 AM
just saw it!

I am appalled! I am 31, and it had been 3 years since my last pap. Now I'm facing a cone biopsy and possible hysterectomy. These new guidelines are dangerous.

The other thing that chaps my hide is the fact that this Dr. just announced on air that
HPV is an STD and cervical cancer is not a genetic concern, it is the result of human behavior.
On Friday, my boss just announced in a staff meeting that I am battling severe dysplasia and cancer has not been ruled out. He announced this as I was sneaking out to run home. I will never be able to show my face at work again. I know I wont be able to take any ridicule. I have been monogamously married for 12 years. Is it fair that past indiscretions should come back to haunt women? As far as I'm concerned this Dr. just blacklisted all women with cervical cancer and turned them into promiscuous hedonists. :burning:
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Unread 02-17-2003, 11:32 AM
and another thing...

My OB/GYN said that 80% of the population has HPV, and once upon a time cancer researchers thought they'd found a link. Basically, he said statistics don't support it. If we do the math, 80% of the pop has HPV. 99.7% of cervical cancer patients have HPV. These stats suggest to me that MOST PEOPLE HAVE HPV, and just because you have it, you won't necessarily develop cancer. However, if you do have CC, MOST PEOPLE ALREADY HAVE HPV, so where's the link? Most of the websites linked from the other thread, come from sources with a political agenda promoting abstinence. As my husband said, Who are you going to believe? Your doctor, who has a vested interest in your health, or a website with a political agenda? I think what infuriates me most is that MISinformation is rampant. As a result, women with CC are stigmatized.

and :burning: and :cry:
Unread 02-17-2003, 11:53 AM
New PAP guidelines from the ACS

Hi All,

Lady Avalon, I would certainly be furious that your boss had discussed your health issues in front of others--he has no right to do that under ANY circumstances.

I will be the first to admit that the "stigma" associated with HPV can definitely be annoying. But it is the result of ignorance of others, so I don't take it personally, and neither should anyone else here, IMHO.

But the scientific facts of the matter are, no matter how uncomfortable it is, that certain types of HPV are usually present when cervical cancer is, with rare exceptions. Lady Avalon, you are right that most people have HPV.

The distinguishing factor is that there are types that are associated with cancer and types that aren't; most people have the types that aren't. Even the "cancerous" types don't always lead to cancer, there are other factors involved, such as the immune system and many other things that aren't yet understood. But nonetheless, when you test women with CC and women without, certain types of HPV (ex. 16 and 18) are consistently found at signicificantly higher rates in those with CC.

Ladies, please try not to let HPV and it's associated "stigma" get you down. Those who know what they're talking about know that you don't have to be promiscuous or anything else to get it. All it takes is to have sex one time with one person. And those that imply otherwise can...well...shove it!!

Unread 02-17-2003, 12:37 PM

He called the staff meeting with the interest of building a support system for me. He called this meeting with my permission, but before I understood what I was consenting to. Now I fear walking into work tomorrow.
Unread 02-17-2003, 12:57 PM
New PAP guidelines from the ACS

Just curious?
How is it that researhers find HPV to be an STD, but men show no signs of it.
My husband and I have been monogomous for 9 years, this was my first bad pap. My doctor never said that I had HPV.
I am no scientist but I have to wonder if it is an STD or possibly a bodies reaction to intercourse, or semen, or some other unknown factor? Maybe I am going out on a limb here, but they have been wrong before.
I can only imagine that many lives and marriages have been changed being diagnosed with an STD when you know you have been monogomous.
Hold your head high, walk in to work fully accepting the support system that your boss tried to create. Most people are so unaware anyway and the others who are aware will still be there to support you. You did nothing wrong and the most important thing to get you through this trying time- is a positive attitude.
You will be ok.
Unread 02-17-2003, 01:28 PM
New PAP guidelines from the ACS


To try to answer your question: Men do have HPV, and they have it at the same rates that women have it. The difference is that so far it has not been convincingly linked with adverse health events in men, and therefore it is not common for men to be tested for it.

Lady Avalon,
Sorry for the misunderstanding. I'm glad your boss was trying to build a support group for you! Kathy is right in saying to hold your head up, most people won't even have a clue of what's going on.


Edited to say that there is a long thread on the subject of HPV and it's implications here:
Unread 02-18-2003, 12:09 AM
Today show

I also saw the segment this morning on the Today SHow. How upseting. I am also in a good marriage for 5 years. I found out I had Cervical cancer at my 6 week check up after having a baby. My pap smear was fine 10 months earlier. My Dr. is using me as a case study to show that you have to get pap smears more often than recommened. That gyne should have gone into how it can also appear in a long term relationship or for reasons that may not be related to having multiple partners. I think who wrote that she " Black listed" us hit it in the head. IF my Dr. would have listened to the regular path of treatment who knows what would have happend to me.

TAH-due to cervial cancer
Unread 02-18-2003, 07:10 AM
New PAP guidelines from the ACS

Hi, Girls!

This is such an emotionally painful topic. I want to thank everyone for participating in this conversation. I think the more we talk about it, the better we are all going to feel, and the less alone and the less "stigmatized" we will feel. I know there are other sisters out there who don't post, or who don't post about this topic because they are also uncomfortable. This thread and our conversation is going to help them with their issues as well. There has been such good information shared here.

If you haven't clicked on the link in Chicklet's post, please do so. We have had some really good informative conversation in that thread. Thanks for bringing it here Chicklet!

I know I'm going to restate a lot of things here. I do it for myself as well as for the rest of you. I have been married for 17 years and I have 6 children. DH and I dated for 5 years before we were married. This was a difficult thing for us to go through, but it helped that there was so much information available (once you know where to look). HPV is a sexually transmitted infection. You can carry it in your system for a very long time and never have any problems with it. You can carry it 30 years before it ever shows any symptoms. You can carry it a few months and you can show symptoms. It's very unpredictable. Everyone's immune system is different. HPV does seem to pop up at times of stress. A death in the family. A new job. Stress lowers your immune response. Following pregnancy is another time it seems to show up, but again, your immune response is lowered during pregnancy. That gives the virus time to get into your system and start wreaking havoc. My first bout with this was after the birth of my first child. I knew nothing about HPV at that time. I've never to this day been tested for it, we just assume I have it. After my 4th child it came back again, and after my 5th, then finally, after my 6th which ended with my TAH.

There was a study done that showed that 10% of women having sex for the very first time acquired HPV during that encounter. We all know of various STD's. What most people don't know is that there are all kinds of viruses that inhabit the genital area and they are passed routinely during sex. They don't cause any health problems so no one ever mentions them. We now know about HPV because of its link to cervical cancer and cervical dysplasia. You hear numbers anywhere from 50-80% of the population carrying that virus. Genital herpes is carried by 25% of the population. We know about that one because it causes problems for a small percentage of people who carry that one. It's safe to say that if you've ever had sex, you probably carry some type of virus in your system that was transmitted to you sexually. You may or may not have symptoms as a result. The virus may or may not have a name. But it doesn't make it any less real. And just because you are having problems with one of these viruses, it doesn't mean that you are a bad person or that your spouse cheated on you or that you cheated on your spouse. It means that your immune system is not doing a good job for you. Lots of women have high-risk HPV types. They don't all develop symptoms. Some of those same women may even smoke (another risk factor), but they still don't develop any symptoms. They must have a powerhouse of an immune system--at least for that particular form of virus.

It's normal to feel angry and upset and confused and frustrated and embarassed and "dirty" and scared. I have felt all of those things. Others here have expressed those very same feelings. So feel them, and talk about it, and get it all out. It puts you one step closer to your final goal which is to find health and keep it. And we need emotional health to help us find physical health. It's painful to learn these things, but now we can help ourselves and our friends and our sisters and our daughters (and sons--even though they are not likely to develop problems they can pass it to their wives).

You know, when we've made such strides in decreasing mortality from cervical cancer, why would they want to risk it and stretch out our PAP's? Too many women already choose for themselves not to go in yearly. Now if they think every 3 years is enough, will they drag it out to 6 or 10?

I want to wish us all health, happiness and peace!


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