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Cervical cancer

(23 Posts)
peachybums Fri 03-Jun-11 20:09:44

Ive just been told that i have cancerous cells on my cervix and they need to be removed. To be honest i feel fairly calm about it all for now but DP seems to be taking it really hard. If the treatment doesnt work i may have to have a hysterectomy (sp). Not too worried as ive been sterlised so dont want more children (3s enough lol)

Should i be more worried or am i right thinking if they got it early i should be fine? What can i say to DP to put his mind at rest?

MaureenMLove Fri 03-Jun-11 20:28:42

Have they suggested that it won't work? I don't remember GP telling me that, but it was a very long time ago for me.

I was only 22, when I had cancerous cells removed. I suppose you can re-assure DH that 21 years later, I am still here.

Sorry not much help, but I didn't want your post to go unanswered. smile

suzikettles Fri 03-Jun-11 20:32:24

My friend had CIN3 cells removed using the LEEP diathermy procedure almost 10 years ago now and has had no further problems. I know at the time the dr was very positive about the treatment being all that was likely to be needed.

I hope all goes well for you. I do think there's a strange kind of hell when it's your partner going through this sort of thing. You feel extra powerless. Thinking of your partner too.

CoteDAzur Fri 03-Jun-11 20:43:53

Peachy - What exactly were you told? CIN I, II, or III? Cancer-in-situ?

CMOTdibbler Fri 03-Jun-11 20:48:26

If it is still at the stage where cells can be removed, then you will be fine. Even if they can't get them all with LEEP (and there is every possibility that they will), then the next step might be a cone biopsy before they thought about a hysterectomy. But with treatment, you have virtually no risk of it going any further

peachybums Fri 03-Jun-11 22:17:16

They said that the treatment was very good and theres a high possibilty that once they have been removed that i will be fine. I think i was just asking too many questions and they advised IF it came back or it had spread its a POSSIBILITY i may have to have further treatment. I think the ifs and buts go though your mind though more after theyve been said lol. This was my first ever screening too so its going through my mind how long they have been there!

They Advised over 2 thirds of my cervix had the cells. They were going to remove them there and then but I wanted some time to explain to my family because i was on my own and get my head around it so im going back within the few of days.

Im not too worried personally. They explained it all to me and reassured me i should be fine just DP who seems to be worrying for both of us lol.

BelaLugosiinStripes Fri 03-Jun-11 22:29:17

Did they say you have pre-cancerous cells or cancerous cells? They may have used the terms dyskaryosis or CIN (cervical intraepithelial neoplasia).
These sites can be useful for women having treatment for cervical abnormalities:
NHS Cervical Screening
BSCCP (colposcopists' association)
Jo's Trust for women having investigation and treatment for cervical abnormalities including cancer

IntotheNittyGritty Fri 03-Jun-11 23:26:01

i learned recently that the HPV virus is what causes cancer. They can now test for this virus. If you have it, then you are likely to get cervical cancer, if there is no trace of the virus then you are likely to ok.

On saying that, I had cancerous cells that were removed by laser, and recent tests show I have no indication of the HPV virus so they removed everything and i have now been told I am unlikely to get cervical cancer.

One thing to say (bit of a dampener) that everybody is different but ask questions of the doctor/specialist.

CoteDAzur Sat 04-Jun-11 08:19:47

Intothenittygritty - It's been known for a long time that HPV causes cervical cancer. HPV has a high prevalence in Europe and it is not tested for, because (1) it only causes cervical cancer in a minority of people it infects, and (2) young women are now vaccinated against it.

By the way, with laser you can never be sure that all the affected area has been removed. Yes, the surface has been burnt away and there is no dysplasia there now, but are you sure that the cancer is not working its way up your cervix and into your uterus? (I'm sorry to scare you like this, but this happened to a woman I know. Her pre-cancerous cells on the cervix were burnt with laser. Three kids and 12 years later, she had to have a hysterectomy.)

This is why the standard practice for treatment of pre-cancerous cells on the cervix these days is cutting away a piece with LEEP or cold knife (if area is large). This piece is sent for biopsy so that it can be determined if the entire affected area has been taken out (i.e. the edges of the cut piece are all clear).

LargeGlassofRed Sat 04-Jun-11 10:16:00

I had a cone biopsy under general, when I was 22, have gone on to have 5 Dc's smile. I am having 6 monthly smears at the moment but have had yearly in the past, have never gone longer than a year without a smear, apart from pregnancy.
I was told at the time that a knife biopsy was better than lazer, can't remember why though.
Hope you get on ok, let us know x

Meglet Sat 04-Jun-11 10:22:33

I had 2 LLETZ treamtments for abnormal cells in 2004/2005. Had 2 kids then more abnormal cells in 2009. As the area was so scarred by previous treatment I decided on a hysterectomy to put an end to it. All ok now, had the final all clear this spring (that's the short version!).

You're in the system now so they'll look after you. And carry on asking the questions, I used to grill my consultant about it.

PeterSpanswick Sat 04-Jun-11 10:26:16

I had CIN 2 changes caught last year, had the treatment and two subsequently clear smears and have been referred back to my doctor for yearly check-ups now. Another ds on the way and all is fine!

V scary time but sure it's nothing to worry about! Afaik hysterectomy is only carried out as a last resort after several unsuccessful treatments so fingers crossed for you things won't reach that stage.

IntotheNittyGritty Sat 04-Jun-11 11:47:32

CoteDAzur. How am I supposed to know if the cancer is working its way up my uterus? I can only rely on doctors and smear tests telling me everything is clear. what else am I supposed to do?

Re the HPV test, where I live now they are starting to test for this virus but I think it has only recently been introduced.

CoteDAzur Sat 04-Jun-11 12:01:43

I was trying to say that you should be vigilant as you can't be sure that "they removed everything" after a laser abrasion where there was no biopsy.

CoteDAzur Sat 04-Jun-11 12:03:58

How do they test for HPV since it is not in the blood stream? Swipe the cervix? That is a smear test.

IntotheNittyGritty Sat 04-Jun-11 12:07:48

Test was part of the smear test. I dont know how they get the results.

are you saying that you can still get cervical cancer even when all the tests keep coming back as clear?

CoteDAzur Sat 04-Jun-11 12:43:40

I don't know how useful it is to know that you have HPV if you don't have any pre-cancerous cells. Perhaps you will never have any. What are you supposed to do with the result of this HPV test?

Re a laser-burnt dysplasia - As I said before, nobody knows if all of the dysplasia on your cervix was eliminated, because no piece was taken out and no biopsy was carried out to see if the remaining organ is free of pre-cancerous cells.

Smear tests tell you if cells on the surface of the cervix are turning cancerous, which works as an initial detection system because that is where the cancer starts.

What happened in your case was that the surface and some depth has been cleaned but nobody can know if this was enough, or if some pre-cancerous cells remained deep in your cervix and continued to spread towards your uterus. This is what happened to the lady I know.

In your place, I would not relax because I'm told they took care of it & be very vigilant about any strange symptoms.

Naoko Sat 04-Jun-11 14:16:16

My mother had this a year and a half ago. The way I understood it, as she is in her mid 50's and already menopausal, they took a 'nuke it from orbit' approach after doing a cone biopsy - they were fairly certain they had gotten it all with that but did a hysterectomy to be on the safe side, as she was obviously not going to be having more children anyway.

All her checkups since then have been clear. She recovered well and is now fine. (Desparately hoping it will stay that way). We were all so scared, though, so I can understand a little bit how you are feeling. You can never be 100% sure, of course, but the treatment is so good now that your odds are pretty awesome. Trust your doctors, ask questions if you don't understand something, and keep faith that you will be ok.

My mum was a bit like this - dad and I were so scared and worried, she was scared too of course but she was very much of the opinion that she should just get on with it - not like she had much of a choice anyway! Think it's natural to worry....

BelaLugosiinStripes Sat 04-Jun-11 14:19:57

Info on the NHS CSP website about HPV testing.
If the cervix is infected with HPV then virus particles are present in the cervical epithelial cells. When a 'smear' is taken, the cells are placed into a liquid preservative. This sample can be processed in different ways and allows for both cytology assessment (looking at the cells for changes under a microscope) and HPV testing (using a few ml with a PCR type RNA extraction to check for presence/level of HPV above an agreed detection level).

CoteDAzur Sat 04-Jun-11 17:00:34

From that page, it sounds like the results of HPV tests will be used to give you less frequent smear tests. So not really for your benefit but to decrease costs to the NHS.

I don't know how it works in the UK but here in France, even 8 years ago when I had mine, they detect the presence of HPV when testing for the tissue obtained in colposcopy. A bit of a moot point, of course, as if you have pre-cancerous cells, in th vast majority of cases, that means you have HPV.

BelaLugosiinStripes Sat 04-Jun-11 18:51:20

There's usually a difference between the two 'diagnoses' of HPV. The biopsy would (in the UK anyway) not be tested to determine the serological presence of HPV but would be commenting on the presence of its morphological features in the tissue sample. Of course I don't know what they do in France, esp I understand many of the path labs are private companies.

Use of HPV testing for triage when a low grade abnormality is seen cytologically has benefits other than potential cost savings. A negative HPV test with a borderline cytology result can help to identify that the changes seen are due to other reasons (e.g. inflammation after an infection or hormonal patterns seen with certain medications) which means the woman doesn't need to have additional follow-up and the worry that can go with it.
There are arguments for and against HPV testing, that's a whole thread on its own!

treacletoffee23 Wed 02-Dec-15 17:48:08

Hi l am at my wits end. My daughter went for her first ever smear test and she has high grade dyskaryosis. Colposcopy on Monday 7 December. She is 25.

Footle Thu 03-Dec-15 07:33:22

Start a new thread for relevant advice. This one dates from 2011.

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