I'm sorry if this is a repeat thread, but I am very scared. I am twenty and every year I get a pap smear. I have since I was sixteen and started to menstrate. Every year up until now my pap smear has been normal.
But this year, it was not. I have shown signs of possible cervial cancer or mild displasia apparently, and I was recomeneded to have a colposcopy. This year has been the only year in which I have gone to a Planned Parenthood, the ones prior were done at a.. well.. more upscale facility. (I'm sorry if that statement offends anyone, but I really dont know how to describe the comparison.)
I'm hoping that at any rate whatever I have now, is easily cureable. But I'm afraid that by the time I find out any bad news, it will be too late. Everytime I call the Planned Parenthood, they only ask me when I plan to have my colposcpy done and tell me how important it is to take care of my health and my questions never get answers understandable to me.
Rundown of my health (if this'll help with answering my questions): I am on orthotricyclen lo to help keep my period somewhat regular. My mother once had cancer... I am unclear as to what kind, but I know it's of the female reproductive system. My grandmother had ovarian cancer. All my prior pap smears were normal. My STD screenings were all fine. I have never been pregnant or had any STDs. I am sexually active and we are monogamous, he is my only one ever and I am his second (he screenings were clear as well, and he has never had any STDs) and we have relations 2-3 times a year. I am a bit underweight, but otherwise said to be in healthy condition. My last pap smear was in very late February and I recieved the results in mid March. My family history also includes anemia.
I just noticed recently a clear mucus-y discharge very lightly laced with blood, what is this?
I have a history of abnormal periods, it runs in my family, so how can I track normality?
About how long does it take for dangerous cancer cells to grow?
Why is it policy that I cannot have another pap smear in a month or two to make sure that the first wasn't wrong? (PP said they would be too close, but a pap smear one month and a colposcopy the next is perfectly fine?)
Can pap smears show abnormalities when there really isn't anything to sweat about?
I was supposed to start (and did) my period the day after my most recent pap smear and even bled a little when she took it, is this ok?
On what week of the month should I be scheduled for a pap smear anyways?
Should I start sweating now?
What should I do if I can't afford a colposcopy?
Is there any food or vitamins I can take to help?
What if I do have cervical cancer? What next? Will I be ok?
Thank you for any help a head of time. Sorry for the desparate bombardment of questions, I'm just scared and don't know what to do.
Last edited by djdragonblood; 05-19-2006 at 03:07 AM.
Try not to be too scared. Dysplasia is common and is just about 100% curable. On average, it takes years to progress to cancer, but you should never wait that long to follow up on it because it progresses quickly in some people. Dysplasia can cause vaginal bleeding, especially after sex, which may explain your bloody discharge.
You can have your Pap smear at any time before or after your period. A little bit of light bleeding should not affect the results but Pap smears DO have a false positive rate so it's a possibility.
Also, you said that you'd never had an STD, but you should know that dysplasia/cervical cancer is caused, in almost 100% of cases, by a virus called HPV. Almost all sexually adults have it, but some strains are more likely to cause cancer than others.
Should you be worried? Well, more information is required to answer that question. If you have mild dysplasia, then no. Mild dysplasia often goes away by itself with no treatment although you must keep an eye on it to be sure it doesn't get worse. If, however, you have severe dysplasia then you need treatment. There's no reason to worry excessively, because it's very treatable, but it's important to take it seriously because severe dysplasia is likely to progress to cancer.
If you already have early stage cancer, then you are still almost 100% likely to be cured, with procedures that are a bit more extensive. On the other hand, invasive cancer is much less treatable, but it's highly unlikely that you have invasive cancer.
In terms of vitamins, Folic Acid has been shown in some studies to help regress cervical dysplasia.
Overall, don't be panicked. What you're going through is common and treatable, but it is important to take it seriously and go for all followup appointements to keep it from progressing.
Last edited by Timber; 05-19-2006 at 06:49 AM.
I share your same story. I had a colposcopy done and found that I have mild dysplasia. Nothing to worry about, as long as you monitor it closely.
You seem knowledgable about this topic. I have red that bleeding during and after sex is 'normal' with this condition. Why do women bleed? Also, I have been experiencing pain during as well as days after sex. Is this 'normal' too? Just wondering...