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Another Question, Pap Smears Another Question, Pap Smears

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Unread 04-04-2003, 12:14 AM
Another Question, Pap Smears

Hi there,

I'm concerned about something that I'm hoping you may be able to help out with...

I've recently been diagnosed with invasive adencocarcinoma stage 1b1. However, all my yearly pap tests came back normal (I only discovered the cancer after experiencing symptoms).

So, after my hysterectomy, how will pap smears track whether or not the cancer has returned? They weren't able to do so before, and I'm afraid they will miss it again.

Apparently, adenocarcinoma is difficult to detect via pap tests. Are there other tests used to discover recurrences?

Thanks in advance for your help and support. :-)

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Unread 04-04-2003, 08:22 AM


I know exactly how you feel, I was diagnosised after my surgery, so no lymph nodes taken, just examied by CT scan. I cant really answer any of your questions but at least I am in the same boat that you are. Every time that I worry about it, I try to shove that thought in the back of my mind, but it is always there. My stage was 'according to radiation oncologist' a stage 2b, so It seems I worry about it all the time.

But anyway, huge hugs and many prayers sent your way
Unread 04-04-2003, 08:52 AM
Another Question, Pap Smears


That is an excellent question, I hope I can help with it. Several factors are involved here: first, the type of cancer you have, second, your schedule of paps, and third, the type of surgery you have.

Your previous paps probably did not pick up on the abnormal cells because you have adeno, not squamous. Detection of adeno is much harder than squamous with a pap smear, because adeno is found deeper in the cervix.

Since you didn't have abnormal paps prior to this, you were probably only having them done once a year. Now, your schedule will be much more frequent, and the chances of picking up a recurrence will be much higher. Also, your doctor should follow you with regular colposcopies, which also greatly improves the chances of detection. Finally, the pathologist should be aware of your adeno diagnosis, and so will be looking perhaps more closely at your samples.

As for the surgery, all of the cancer should be removed if you are having a hyst and if your lymph nodes are clear, and you won't have to worry about whether it's spread to the rest of the uterus, since it will be removed as well. After that, pap follow-ups are mainly to check for vaginal recurrence, and as mentioned above, the increased number of paps, colpscopies, and awareness of your diagnosis should all help with detection.

Nonetheless, knowing all of this biologically does not stop the Cancerhead from visiting from time to time Take care!

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Unread 04-04-2003, 08:04 PM
Another Question, Pap Smears

Beth gave you good information. The only reason they caught my adeno at Stage 1A was because I also had squamous CIN. The pap picked up the abnormal squamous cells. It did not pick up the adeno. I too had never had an abnormal pap before I was diagnosed. Good Luck.
Unread 04-04-2003, 11:23 PM
Another Question, Pap Smears

Thanks again for all your help and advice...I really appreciate it.


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