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Cancer: Cervical & Ovarian Message Board
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Old 01-27-2005, 01:24 PM   #1
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prismcolors HB User
Update on abnormal pap and colposcopy

I just wanted to share what happened to me. I went to my gynecologist on December 28th. A nurse called a few days later to inform me that my pap was abnormal. She also told me that I most likely had HPV and she told me that I would have to schedule a colposcopy and biopsy. She said that I had mild dysplasia. She asked me if I had ever had an abnormal pap smear before, and I told her yes, but it was because the doctor did not get a good enough specimen and I had to go back and do it again. She ASSURED me that my doctor DID get a good specimen and it couldn't be that. I was very upset about all this and I had never heard of HPV. Furthermore, I have religiously gone for my paps once a year. No one ever mentioned HPV or dysplasia before. I am 49 years old. I am also going through menopause. I haven't had a period for 10 months.

I scheduled my colposcopy and biopsy for January 25. It was just a little uncomfortable but I didn't feel any pain. The nurse told me that there are no nerve endings in the cervix so I wouldn't feel pain. I took two tylenol before the procedure. The doctor used a speculum as used in a pap smear and she applied vinegar to my cervix. The vinegar is supposed to show abnormalties. As she was looking through the colposcope, she said "everything looks normal to me, but we have to make sure". She also did a biopsy. Then she applied a brown paste to my cervix to stop the bleeding. It all took about 5 minutes. That's all. She told me that I would bleed a little for a few days and to just wear a pad. She told me not to douche, or have intercourse for 3 days in order to let the cervix heal. She told me not to wear tampons, just pads. I felt mild cramping for a few hours, but after that, I felt fine. She said that if I should start bleeding a lot, to call the office.

On January 27 I got the results back from my biopsy. They said everything was normal. They found nothing wrong with my cervix. No abnormalties. They said I possibly had an inflammation which showed up on the pap smear as abnormal. They told me to come back in four months for another pap smear just to make sure there are no abnormalties????? I asked the nurse if I was tested for HPV and she said "no". She said you have to request an HPV test. They don't normally do one unless the biopsy shows up as high grade dysplasia. ??????

I just thought all of this was very strange. There is absolutely nothing wrong with my cervix but I've gone through all of this. I am thankful that everything is okay, but I'm wondering if the doctor didn't get a good specimen when she did my original pap smear in December???? I really like my doctor and I don't want to change doctors. I'm glad that she went the extra mile to make sure everything is okay. I also don't mind going back for another pap smear in four months.

I was really worried about all of this and I shouldn't have been. Everything turned out just fine.

 
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Old 01-27-2005, 07:57 PM   #2
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ElenaK HB User
Re: Update on abnormal pap and colposcopy

Hi prismcolors!

First of all, congratulations on the good news for your colpo & biopsy! False positives happen all the time, but at least they are better than false negatives... It is not surprising that your Pap came back abnormal for no reason: during menopause, benign epithelial changes take place in the cervix. These changes all too often get picked up as "dysplasia" by Pap tests, esp. ThinPrep. The problem with ThinPrep is that although its sensitivity is higher than that of the conventional smear, its specificity is not.

I am surprised that they told you that HPV testing happens with HGSIL or higher... I am pretty sure that the opposite generally applies, i.e. they check for HPV only when they find very minor problems, e.g. ASCUS. For mild dysplasia or higher they do not bother to test for HPV, they just assume you have it... (It sucks, I know!).

In your age group it is highly unlikely that you have HPV. If you want to make sure, you can always ask them to do a test, for instance, when you next go in for your follow-up smear. The process is the same, they will just take an additional sample. Besides I have read in the literature that HPV testing should be done for women over 35 because many of these women are NOT infected and their perimenopausal changes are all too often misclassified as dysplasia. Go figure...

All's well that ends well! I am very happy for your good results. Please wish me luck with my colpo next week... (I was relieved to read that yours did not hurt at all.)

Hugs,
Elena


 
Old 01-28-2005, 05:00 AM   #3
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prismcolors HB User
Re: Update on abnormal pap and colposcopy

Hi ElenaK:

Thank you for your reply. I wish you luck with your colpo. I imagined it would be an awful experience....but it wasn't so bad at all.

 
Old 01-30-2005, 07:45 AM   #4
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cocoeyes HB User
Re: Update on abnormal pap and colposcopy

Quote:
Originally Posted by prismcolors
Hi ElenaK:

Thank you for your reply. I wish you luck with your colpo. I imagined it would be an awful experience....but it wasn't so bad at all.

I'm getting my third colop on Monday 01/31. Ummm Last time I had a colop back in Sept of 04 my doctors said they wasn't ever sure if it was dyplasia

So she wanted me to wait 4-months and do another colop. I was upset but thought okay it's for my health... My paps comes back Low grade and the first colop I took it said everything was fine. I've been taking vitamines and folic acid like I've been reading to help regress the cells maybe.

I hope I get the same results as the very frist colop I had.

 
Old 02-04-2005, 04:30 PM   #5
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Join Date: Sep 2004
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ca501 HB User
Re: Update on abnormal pap and colposcopy

Hi!
From what my doctor told me, whenever you have an abnormal pap, she says they AUTOMATICALLY do an HPV DNA test to tell you if your abnormal pap is caused by HPV. They also type the HPV and tell you whether it's high risk or low risk. I'm wondering if this differs from doctor to doctor, but that's what mine does, so I'm thinking that you should get the HPV test done just to be sure.

 
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