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Abnormal Cells......what next.....any advice please???

(29 Posts)
mum2taylor Wed 01-Oct-08 09:25:19

I had been experiencing bleeding outwith my period which lasted for approximately 5 weeks. My doctor took blood tests and sent me for a smear....the blood tests showed I had anemia but nothing else, but I have just had the results of my smear test which have shown that I have abnormal cells...it says it is at a mild stage and that they will do another smear in 6 months time but my mum had this for years and died 2yrs ago from lung cancer (may not be related to her death but I cant help but worry)...if anyone has any experience of this any help would be very much appreciated. Is 6 mths not a bit long to leave it???

fransmom Wed 01-Oct-08 09:29:49

((((((((((((mum2taylor)))))))))))))
i have always had normal smears but when i had strange symptoms, i went to get them checked out. my first doctor just laughed, the 2nd doc, however, referred me for a colposcopy. i am glad she did - they showed up white cells which, at that time, were cin I. if i had left them 10-15 yrs i had 50% chance of developing cervical cancer. so i had them whipped out with laser surgery.

my point is that if you are worried, and with a view to your family history (even if it is lung cancer) i would ask for a second opinion or just go and see another doc and explain your symptoms and history. i, personally, would think that 6mths is a little long so please go and see another doc xxx

fransmom Wed 01-Oct-08 09:31:29

btw, the strange symptoms were for somethign else. if i had not gone in, i might be having chemo now. my point stil is tho, go and get it checked. you may have to fight but ask for a colposcopy and they will be abel to see things better. (((((((((((((())))))))))))

canofworms Wed 01-Oct-08 09:34:30

Cells in the cervix sometimes change naturally due to hormones etc.

A "mild change" means they are unsure whether to put it down to this or whether it needs treating. A smear in 6 months may well be back to normal.

These changes are precancerous so more than 99% treatable. Cervical cancer is also a very slow developing disease so waiting 6 months son't cause any problems.

Incidentally, a smear earlier than recommended isn't usually done

bodiddly Wed 01-Oct-08 09:34:30

I had this recently but was referred for a colposcopy and spent 6 weeks fretting about the results (as my family also has a history of cancer) but they came back ok for now .. have got to go every 6 months. They did find mild abnormality (cant remember the term they use) but not severe enough to treat. If you are really concerned then ask your doctor if they would refer you for a colposcopy but explain why!

mum2taylor Wed 01-Oct-08 09:52:55

Im just really scared about the pain factor as well...is a colposcopy painful or just the same as a smear??? Ive made an appointment to go and see my GP tomorrow as I was due a normal period about two weeks ago and it still hasnt appeared...I cant help thinking its all connected...think Im just getting paranoid now though. blush

fransmom Wed 01-Oct-08 09:58:58

((((((((((())))))))))
a colposcopy itself isn't painful sweetheart xx

mum2taylor Wed 01-Oct-08 10:09:51

thanks fransmom smile

bodiddly Wed 01-Oct-08 11:37:40

I was worried about that too but it isnt painful - I think we all wind ourselves up about it because it is unknown. It takes longer than a smear but isnt anything horrible .. I promise!

fransmom Thu 02-Oct-08 09:11:51

it is right that we wind ourselves up about it, i think it may be because we are worried about what it may show. you will be fine xxx

CoteDAzur Thu 02-Oct-08 16:45:05

What exactly is "mild changes"?

CIN I? CIN II?

You need to have a colposcopy. Only then can they say for sure at what stage the abnormalities are.

My condolences for your mum. Still, be assured that her abnormalities on the cervix can't have had anything to do with her fatal lung cancer.

quinne Thu 02-Oct-08 18:56:38

mild changes = no big deal. more regular follow ups but that's all.
moderate changes = time for a colposcopy to check out what is going on
severe changes = urgency

If you have the HPV virus then you are in the high risk category for getting cervical cancer.
If you do not, then you have no higher risk of getting cervical cancer than the next person, even with mild changes.

That is what several gynaecologists have told me over the years

CoteDAzur Thu 02-Oct-08 19:21:14

Did those gynecologists tell you the probability of developing cellular changes without HPV?

mum2taylor Fri 03-Oct-08 09:26:31

I went to my GP yesterday...it was a different GP to that whom had referred me for a smear to begin with but I explained that I was sent for the smear due to bleeding outwith my period etc. I told her that I was due my period three weeks ago and have still not had it and was worried that it was connected to the abnormal cells...she seemed to think not hmm Asked if I could be pregnant and I told her that I have done two tests to be sure and Im not...she seemed to think that it could not be hereditary either and that I should just wait the six months for the next smear and that if my period was not here in the next two weeks to go back and they would arrange some scans??? Feeling rather bewildered by her opinion that none of this is connected to be honest...???

Dalrymps Fri 03-Oct-08 09:39:04

Not sure what to say about the docs opinion but just wanted to be another person to reassure you about a colposcopy. If you ever have one, they are just a bit longer than a smear, they usually put your feet in stirrups and have a light to see things better. It just takes a bit longer than a smear with a bit more poking about smile

quinne Fri 03-Oct-08 10:13:46

they did but i can't remember - it was years ago, and unfortunately does not apply to me. I do remember that they said that getting mild changes was the same risk as getting no changes at all (unless you have HPV) and that most times classifying as mild was a marginal decision

mum2taylor Fri 03-Oct-08 10:17:58

GP said yesterday that the results were "borderline" and that were nothing to worry about for the moment, but she didnt seem to be taking into account that I had the heavy bleeding for so long and also the family history and fact iv still not had my period. Just got a bad feeling about it, may be paranoia though blush

CoteDAzur Fri 03-Oct-08 13:01:17

quinne - Let me answer, then. It is very unlikely to have cervical dysplasia (abnormal cells) without HPV. Yes, it can also be triggered by some other infections and suppressed immune system in some cases, but the vast majority of abnormal smear test results are caused by HPV.

I only point this out because you seemed to think that OP had a good chance not to have HPV, in which case her dysplasia would not progress in time. I doubt this very much.

"In time" is not the six months in question, by the way. Each step takes about 1-3 years between CIN I, CIN II, CIN III, cancer-in-situ, and cervical cancer.

CoteDAzur Fri 03-Oct-08 13:04:56

mum2taylor - I am guessing you have CIN I. Do you have a copy of your smear test results?

PathofLeastResistance Fri 03-Oct-08 13:09:37

I think Quinne was right. I am a pathologist and we are the ones who look at the cells and give them a classification of borderline/ mild = CIN1 / mod = CIN2 / severe = CIN3. The distinction is made based on what they look like down the microscope. Borderline is a description of cells that are not normal looking but have such minor changes that you couldn't say they fit into another category either. Borderline changes are therefore nothing to get too worried about and might indeed mean you don't even have HPV. However SOME women with borderline changes do go on to have other abnormalities on subsequent smears. Therefore a if you have one borderline result more smears are suggested. Nothing needs to be done in a hurry.

I agree with your GP that the bleeding is probably a separate issue which should be looked into.

Bumblelion Fri 03-Oct-08 13:13:05

I have also had abnormal cells (CIN 1) on two occasions and have had 2 colposcopies (one about 12 years ago and one 8 years ago).

I had to have 6 monthly smear tests, then yearly and am now on 3 yearly tests.

The colposcopy is a bit uncomfortable but no more than a smear test.

I recall I was put in stirrups (not very dignified!) so they could examine my cervix in a bit more detail and then they took a biopsy (a small bit of the cervix) for closer examination but got the all clear.

lulumama Fri 03-Oct-08 13:17:23

i had an abnormal result a year ago, i had to go for a repeat smear six months later, adn the results were clear. i have to go for another smear this month, and if that is clear i can go back to 3 yearly.

i also asked about having a repeat smear soon as 6 months was a long time to wait, but hte nurse said no point going sooner as you have to wait until there are sufficient cells there and if you do a repeat too soon, you might not get sufficient cells for a test and have to wait again

PathofLeastResistance Fri 03-Oct-08 13:28:20

lulumama I'm afriad your nurse was talking bllsht. If she/he can't get enough cells it's because of their technique. The reason for waiting is because repeating it earlier would give the same result. We wait to see if the changes just go back to normal or turn into proper CIN.

lulumama Fri 03-Oct-08 13:29:54

right, well i shall ask her when i go again.

she was clear that there would be a likelihood of insufficient cells if i went back too soon

PathofLeastResistance Fri 03-Oct-08 13:30:59

whoops my * made it bold!

The problem with screening programes is that a lot of women who are fine and will always be fine are made to feel there is something wrong and it can cause a lot of psychological distress. All of which is unnecessary. I realise saying that doesn't necessarily help either.

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