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Abnormal smear ,and a colposcopy coming up,I am soooo scared !!!

(25 Posts)
tetti Wed 09-Sep-09 17:40:44

I had my first abnormal smear in Dec,CN1.
Then I got treated for pelvic inflammatory disease,got given antibiotics,and 3 months later,the next smear was normal.
For other reasons (endometriosis),I was put under active monitoring,and they gave me another smear,3 months after I had a normal result.
This smear came back as mild dyskaryosis,again!!!

I am freaking out,how could it go from normal to abnormal in 3 months?
I am now going for a colposcopy,but am soo scared that they may find more severe changes,and that it may be cancer.

My mum died of cancer,and could've been saved had she not been misdiagnosed so many times.
Losing her has made me absolutely petrified that this will happen to me too.
Am a single mother,and I am all my daughter has got.

Some people have reassured me (cancer uk) that these abnormalities are normal,but then I made the mistake of reading online forums/articles etc about abnormal smears,and I am literally freaking out now.

If anyone's been through this,and have got some advice,or are willing to share your experiences,I'd be so very

jumble Wed 09-Sep-09 18:06:08

Hi tetti, I had an abnormal smear and a colposcopy about 15 years ago. It was no worse than a smear test, a 'pinching' sensation inside as they actually take the sample, but not painful as such. Mine came back as low grade changes or something I think, can't remember now. All that happened was I had annual smears for about 10 years, then went to every other year and I think I'm on 3 yearly now, not sure. I have never had any other dodgy results since the colposcopy. Try not to think the worst, and DON"T GOOGLE IT AGAIN!!!!!

alypaly Wed 09-Sep-09 19:23:17

I am on my sixth iffy smear ( 2 colposcopies.1 biopsy) and they are just getting round to offering the diathermy to remove the neck of the cervix,although the sister is not convinced the offending cells are coming fron the neck.( im pretty scared too) She thinks the cells are coming from higher up so i reckon this will be followed by a pretty swift hysterectomy. God i am sick of hospitals...only just had my gall bladder out.Why are some people unlucky?

Littledawley Wed 09-Sep-09 19:26:34

I had a similar experience to jumble - had the colposcopy, then had to have some cells frozen off followed by annual smears for 5 years now every three years. None of the procedures hurt at all.
Just be thankful that they are monitoring the changes.

deleting Wed 09-Sep-09 19:33:57

don't worry, mine went from normal to cin3 in 6 months. had colposcopy, had loop laser thing and now have yearly smears. it's very common and NOT CANCER. they put a dye on your cervix and the abnormal cells show in a different colour. they then laser them off. slightly uncomfortable.

GoldenSnitch Wed 09-Sep-09 19:36:20

I had an abnormal smear in 2005. CN1, just like yours. I had an appointment at the colcoscopy clinic and ended up with loop diathermy to remove the affected tissue. Had another smear on my return from honeymoon a few months later and everything has been fine since.

I've had annual smears since and every result has come back normal.

My Grandmother died of Uterine cancer and my Mum regularly has abnormal smears so I understand how scared you must be. I was paranoid about dying or having to have a hysterectomy but here I am, expecting my second child and healthy. I had my last clear smear in February.

I know it's scary but there will be loads of people on here who've been through the same who can reassure you and be here for you of you need a chat - I'll volunteer first

alypaly Wed 09-Sep-09 19:43:15

thanks GoldenSnitch smile

BEAUTlFUL Wed 09-Sep-09 19:45:01

PLEASE don't worry. remember, cervical cancer is vv slow-growing and it usually would take 5 or more years for CIN 1 changes to get anywhere near becoming cancer.

I have had dodgy smears, a colcoscopy and a laser treatment and my lady-garden has just been given the all-clear! it's such a relief.

Thou Shalt Not Google, just get your chuff along to that appointment and have it sorted.


alypaly Wed 09-Sep-09 19:50:01

Just a bit worried as the sister at he hospital said she thought it was coming from inside the womb and there is no way of doing a complete scraping of the whole of the inside of the womb

lisad123wantsherquoteinDM Wed 09-Sep-09 19:55:29

I have had treatment for mine about 7 years ago and an9ther treatment earlier this year, and normally they check, small biopsy and then might call you back if needed.
I would strongly recommend o take some sweets to suck, make things easier for some reason blush

Im sure you,ll be fine but its better to be safe, and remember they are pre cancerous cells NOT cancer.

alypaly Wed 09-Sep-09 19:59:19

But its easy to see the problem on the neck of the cervix as they can just stain it and visibly see the cells, they cant do that on the inside of the womb as it would be physically impossible. They have said that if this test comes back with iffy cells that they may think of hysterectomy because they cant actually see the problem and they dont want it to take hold inside the womb where it is not visible by staining

cariadambyth Wed 09-Sep-09 21:33:09

Please try not to worry, easier said than done I know. About 8 yrs ago my smear was absolutely normal, by my next one 3 years later it was CN3. I had a biopsy and had surgery to remove the dodgy cells, I had a general anaesthetic (sp?) blush but was only in hospital for a day. That was five years ago, I now have annual tests which have all come back as 'normal'.

All this happened before I'd had dc so I appreciate that you have an extra dimension to consider as you have your dd but please remember, this isn't cancer, the cells are pre cancerous.

Sorry this has turned into a ramble. Take care

tetti Wed 09-Sep-09 21:39:36

Thank you so much everyone for helping me put my mind at ease,and I shall def take you up on your offer GoldenSnitch

Alypaly,I am not sure if you also had CN1 ?,but perhaps start up a different thread as there may well be people here who's gone through the same thing as you?

alypaly Wed 09-Sep-09 21:49:14

tetti ...really sorry to read about your mum...its horrible loosing your mum...lost mine 18mths ago too.She was my best friend too.
mine was dyskaryosis first,then its gone back to dyskaryosis...its really worrying isnt it, when you cant actually see it for yourself and everything seems to take so long to get results back. Had colpsocopy,three biopsies.might be better to have it all removed??????????

tetti Wed 09-Sep-09 22:06:26

Was it CN1 (mild dyskaryosis) that you have?
There are three grades,mild,moderate and severe,and from what I understand,mild can go back to normal by itself,if one's lucky.I am only sent for a colposcopy as it's the second time I've had this,and because I'm under active monitoring anyway.Has yours progressed? It's just that I've never heard of such drastic procedures taking place when one only has mild dyskaryosis(CN1)

BellaNoir Wed 09-Sep-09 22:16:31

Just to put straight some of the terms being used here.
Dyskaryosis is the abnormal changes seen in cervical samples, it is a cytology term
CIN (cervical intraepithelial neoplasia) is the same abnormal changes but seen histologically.
Cytology is looking at cell samples - at the cells in detail
Histology needs tissue samples (like Goldensnitch had) where we look at the structure under the microscope.
Cytology is good for picking and assessing abnormalities, histology is for actually grading them, as you need to see the tissue structure to make that assessment.
Mild dyskaryosis=CIN1
Moderate dyskaryosis=CIN2
Severe dyskaryosis=CIN3

Tetti - it may be that your other conditions have been making the samples rather tricky to interpret. The national guidance (minimum standard) is to refer on the second mild dyskaryosis. The majority of women having mild dyskaryosis will have CIN1, which is a low grade abnormality & would usually go away by itself. The immune system varies in the time it takes to deal with it & from what else you've said it certaintly sounds like its had a bit to work on!
Going for a colposcopy will make sure your cervix has had a closer examination with a special microscope.

Beautiful - it is thought to be 10-15 years rather than 5 years. If you have CIN3 it is not a certainty that you would go onto develop cancer, but is better to be treated as at present there is not a way to tell whose would/wouldn't go further.

BellaNoir Wed 09-Sep-09 22:20:13

Tetti - xposts there!
All CIN has the potential to go away by itself, but the lower grades are probably more likely to regress.

As I said above, refer to colposcopy for second mild is entirely within the guidelines. [ This] publication sets out all the national guidelines that the labs in England work to.

tetti Wed 09-Sep-09 22:32:30

Fantastic BellaNoir,factual information that is very useful,and also very reassuring.
Big hugs to you for sharing that

GoldenSnitch Wed 09-Sep-09 22:33:14

I was referred for colcoscopy on my first ever abnormal smear but maybe that is because of my mothers and grandmothers history?

I was told that there was a good likelyhood that the cells would return to normal by themselves but that while I was there, they would remove them for me anyway.

It was just a relief to be having something done TBH

alypaly Wed 09-Sep-09 22:49:49

they have just been monitoring me every six months so i am glad really

BellaNoir Wed 09-Sep-09 23:07:58

Goldensnitch - some areas refer on the 1st mild. This tends to be in some areas of Northern England. It depends on what the lab and colposcopy unit have decided. The document I linked to above suggests referring on 1st it's ok to wait for the 2nd. It is topic which provokes much debate amongst people involved in screening & there are camps which feel strongly for each!

It is difficult when you're reporting a sample because I do wonder what the woman will think when she gets her result. Sometimes it's not easy to decide the management if the history is complex and you'll never know if the patient is scared stiff to be referred, relieved to be going for investigation or both. I guess it's a mixture of both usually.
I have been a patient myself, had a LLETZ because my gynae thought I might have cervical cancer - it turned out not (phew) - understanding what was going on put a different perspective on it but didn't stop me from worrying.

I hope the info is helpful & try not to worry

GoldenSnitch Thu 10-Sep-09 08:43:01

I wasn't as scared as I might have been. I know my Grandma had symptoms for ages before she saw anyone as she was too embarrassed to discuss 'down there' with a doctor.

It has definitely changed how I deal with embarrassing medical things. I'm straight down to the doctors now!!

When I got my results and referral, I definitely felt a mixture of fear and relief. It's horrible to know something is wrong but I was very grateful that someone was doing something about it for me.

tetti Thu 10-Sep-09 12:18:24

Yes,what I find really worrying is that you don't feel any symptoms with these things,so you dk anything's wrong until you go for that smear.

I am def freaking out a bit about the colposcopy,the fears of it being worse than CN1...I'm petrified the person who will examine me,will turn around and say it's really bad.Yes,I'm a real worrier (but I have also realised there is nothing worse than Googling it,as all sorts of incorrect information/and to some extent,scaremongering can be printed online)

I have read somewhere that endometriosis MAY affect the outcome of smears for some women,but then again,that's not a fact,so am taking it with a pinch of salt.

Keep your fingers crossed everyone!.xxx

deleting Thu 10-Sep-09 18:36:12

good luck. you will be fine and it will be over very quickly. organise a treat for yourself if you can to have something to look forward to after. x

GoldenSnitch Thu 10-Sep-09 18:41:18

Make sure it's something sat down though.

After my loop excision, I had what felt like bad period pains and was told to take things very easy for a few days.

Dinner out would be good

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