I have just recently gotten high grade abnormal results back from my pap smear and have been told I must have a colposcopy urgently. While many people I know have reassurred me that I have nothing to worry about, I have recently become TOTALLY panicky about the whole thing. I was involved in an abusive relationship for many years (8) which I ended at the beginning of this year, but one of the results of this relationship was that I sadly negelcted my pap smear for waaaaaaaay toooooo long. I know It is only myself that can ultimately take responsibility for this lack of action but as my ex was very controlling I found it very difficult to think of things like pap smears. So the last pap smear I had was about 4 or 5 years ago before the birth of my second child who is 3 now I know how bad this is already, please, no lectures! I am 24 years old and have been sexually active since about 16 or 17. So a few weeks ago I finally got it together and had my pap.....and got called back with the abnormal results. I know this still sounds like nothing to worry about, but what is concerning me are these symptoms listed below which I have had for about a year and a half, to two years.
1. abnormally long painful heavy periods.
2. pain inside during intercourse when penis is fully inserted (Sorry for graphic detail)
3. more discharge than usual (I never used to get any) quite mucousy, but a light colour and no bad smell.
4. spotting between periods/ after periods.
5. more recently, after vigourous sex, i have pink discharge, very light bleeding/ clearish mucous with blood in for 4 or 5 days afterwards (had the same thing after my pap smear)
6. annoying period like subtle lower back and pelvic pain occasionally.
7. Lack of appetite and total inabiltity to gain any weight - I am 176 cms tall and weigh 49kg - no matter what I eat I can't gain weight and don't feel paticularly hungry. I forced myself to eat a packet of cookies last week (obviously not all I ate) and if anything I feel like i may have lost half a kilo since then. I have a naturally fast metabolism and slim build but normally weigh 55 to 60kgs - at the moment I am getting harassed by family and friends over how skinny I am. this problem has been happening in the last 8 months or so
8. I have had all STD screening and have no genital disorders of any kind that should be causing this - no bladder or urinary tract infections, I do not have thrush or anything like that.
PHEW. So basically my questions for you all are -
1. I am awaiting appointment details from the public health system re the colocscopy i have been told to have after the abnormal results. My gp knows nothing of the symptoms I have mentioned as I have always previously attributed them to child birth problems. Should i just wait for the public health system to sort things out (which may take a couple of months), should I go back to my gp and tell her the symptoms, or should I go into a state of panic and get private treatment straight away? Any advice would be appreciated.
2. For those of you who have been told they have cervical cancer, should I be worried about the symptoms I have mentioned?
THANK YOU ALL IN ADVANCE
No lectures here!!! I did not have my pap either regularly either in fact I went longer than you!!! the symptoms you mentioned SOME of them are textbook, some I had I am a survivor of cervical cancer stage2b!!!
I am still suffering but I am alive! Please dont hesitate to go see someone anyone you need to have this looked at and evaluated now not in 2 months!!!
]The one good thing if there is such a thing is cervical cancer is slow forming and the least of all cancers to spread but that isnt a excuse to put it off!!!
Hopefully you will find out its nothing of the sort but in case it is have it looked at now!!! Good luck and let me know whats going on!!!! God Bless
Yup, go in and get it checked. I hadn't had a pap in about 5-6 years and got an abnormal, the colp and so on. It turned out that it was high grade changes, basically a step before cancer. I too was not living a healthy lifestyle and I am sure that contributed to my body not fighting it off. Let me tell ya, the powers that be have definitely made up for my lack of attendance, as I have gone above and beyond in the area of gyno visits now.
Try not to worry...I know thats easier said than done. Thankfully you got around to it and they caught it. Its stressful but it definitely helps to talk with people who been there.
My FIL is a gynocological oncologist and when I had severe displasia I called him panicked. I was told that I have nothing to worry about because the cancer is just like sun cancer on your skin and is easily taken care of. It's not like lung cancer or any other life threatening cancer. Yes get it checked and the biopsy is no big deal, I didn't feel it at all. The cold knife conization was no big deal either I had the best sleep ever! I'd do that again in a heart beat. lol You may have little cramping after that. NOthing to be scared about. You will find you worried for nothing. After the surgry I had to go back every three months and then every six and then back to a year. All my paps came back fine. The good thing is that you already have a child because sometimes its difficult to get pg after the surgery due to scar tissue. They had to cut some of my cervix off, still not quite sure what that did. Sex feels no different. Your doctor may want to do an ultra sound on you to see if you have ovarian cysts. That's just want your symptoms sound like to me. So do not worry just get the pap and take care of everything and have the surgery. It's really NOT bad at all. I promise. IF you do feel a bit crampy you can take two Motrin for the swelling and you'll be fine in a few days, I was up and doing everything right after the surgery...it really wasn't anything. Good luck
My FIL is a gynocological oncologist and when I had severe displasia I called him panicked. I was told that I have nothing to worry about because the cancer is just like sun cancer on your skin and is easily taken care of. It's not like lung cancer or any other life threatening cancer.
I'm sorry, maybe I'm a little touchy or cranky tonight, but I take issue with the comment that cervical cancer is not like lung cancer or any other life threatening cancer. I think you may have a hard time explaining that to families who have lost a loved woman to cervical cancer, or to women who have had all their pelvic organs removed because of cervical cancer (pelvic externation); or to women who have lost their ability to have children because of cervical cancer. Your statement, while well intentioned, minimizes the impact cervical cancer can have on a woman's life.
Certainly there are many options available to treat cervical pre-cancer and cervical cancer. Thank goodness for that! However, please do not minimize this disease, if you do, you minimize all the women who have fought cervical cancer.
Like I said, maybe I'm a little cranky tonight, but I could not keep myself from responding.
Pixistar - I am glad you are going for a private consultation and getting this looked at sooner than later. yes, it is typically a slow growing cancer, so the odds are definately in your favor
I was dx'd with Stage 1a1 cervical cancer. Looking back, I remember some symptoms like discharge, sometimes some blood tinged discharge after sex, but always my smears came back normal. The abnormal smear blindsided me - I went every year and never had an abnormal result before. Please please please, do not worry about not going for a smear for so long...you went and got it done, and GOOD FOR YOU for doing that. And now you know that you are not going to wait that long again, so lesson learned.
Most of the symptoms you are describing could be attributed to many things. Be sure to mention them to your doctor at your next visit. It could be something gynecological, it could be something gastro, best to have a doc assess and have a conversation with you about it. I can tell you, that many women I have discussed cervical cancer with talk about a clear watery discharge that is very profuse, and this was their only symptom.
You are doing the right thing, asking for information, seeking out some answers. Educating yourself about your body will empower you to work with your doctor and make the decisions you are comfortable with regarding treatment. There are several options for treatment, if you have high grade cell changes confirmed by biopsy, you will most likely have a LEEP or a cone biopsy. There are many threads on this board regarding these procedures that can provide you with good information.
I hope you can get in to have the colposcopy soon. The waiting is the really hard part, once you have more concrete answers (from the biopsies), you will feel a bit more power about what direction you will go in. Right now it is hard not to let the panic and worry set in because you only have something vague to go on.
Thank you Karen! Your kind reply gives me much needed reassurance. Upon further research on what many women go through I just feel so blessed to have two healthy sons. I am currently urging a friend who's pap smear has been neglected to get it sorted! so she does not have to face the same fears. As you say it is the waiting that is hardest. As to the minimization of any cancer, my mum lost her mother when she was 8 years old to skin cancer. She died within 6 months of being diagnosed after living in england her whole life. She was only 24. So no cancer can be minimized. skin cancer kills many, and in underdeveloped countries many women die of cervical cancer.
I know many women go through what I am going through, and all have different attitudes. some are fearless and treat it as nothing while others are extremely concerned for my welfare based on what they know and have been through. Basically the general idea seems to be that cervical cancer is only dangerous if left undetected and untreated. so i guess all my fears are based on "what if i have left it undiagnosed for a foolishly long time, and had no pap smear for 4 yrs, during which time it has started progressing to a more dangerous state therefore causing symptoms?" I do feel quite guilty that I live in a western country and did not take advantage of the free services provided here. But nevertheless I remain positive that i will be fine, as I have already survived much before this.
Pixistar - good on you for remaining positive about this. I always found it very hard to not think about the "what ifs" and it got to the point that I needed to find something to focus on to make sure I didn't have any "what ifs". I did sooooo much research, educated myself and suddenly, being positive was not quite so hard. Sometimes I wish I were one of those people who just brushed it off as nothing, but I guess it wasn't so much in my nature.
I am still trying to convince my younger sis to go for her smear. I don't believe she has ever had one. I also have other friends who neglect their smears, and they know full well about my history. I hope you have better luck with your friend
well i was doing some more online research and I just found out you are not supposed to get fitted with an iud if you have cervical dysplasia or are not up to date with your pap smears. i had an iud fitted earlier in the year but had it removed a while ago as i was getting pain and side effects from it. i am feeling a bit irritated that the gyn did not ask me about pap smears at all.
well i had to have my colposcopy today and although he had to do a few nasty feeling biopsies he says all should be allright , while there are some changes he says i should not be concerned. i will have results back in about a week. but he reassured me i don't have cancer so i am a very happy lady today. i may have to have some surgery but i am ok! thank you all for your kind reassurance and i will post when i find out results.
That's great news, Pixistar! I hope you are celebrating tonight!
Thank you Karen
I am lucky enough to have already escaped death 4 times! due to serious illnesses as a child and have also had a few car crashes so everyday I try to celebrate being alive....and sometimes hearing other peoples stories makes you realise how lucky you are.