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Old 07-03-2008, 07:06 PM   #1
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milimoki HB User
Cancer Polyp Scared Please Help

If anyone could please answer a few questions for me, I know some of the answers are probably in some other threads but I am so upset I can't spend hours searching. My Mother who is 62 had a polyp on her cervix the size of a pea removed last week. It came back as cancer. She had a cat scan of the pelvic area 2 months ago because she had IBS and they wanted to make sure nothing else was causing her IBS symptoms. The cat scan came back clear. She had a pap test and exam 7 months ago, all normal. The reason she went in early last week , is because she was bleeding and she has gone through the change. Her Dr. already has made her an appt. with a cancer surgeon. I read about these finger size polyp's on the cervix all the time and it seems most turn out nothing, thats why I am so scared it could be some rare fast growing cancer. My question's are:
1. Can a cancer-polyp grow that fast?
2. The cat scan would have picked it up if it was a pelvic scan?
3. Is it rare to have one grow so fast and be cancer?
4. Survival rate?
5. If you have a hysterectomy can the ovaries be taken out through the vagina as well?
Any other information would be so much appreciated. My Mom and I are best friends and I am scared to death. This comes at the worst time, as my Mother's Mother (my grandmother) is about to die in the hospital.

Old 07-03-2008, 07:37 PM   #2
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Re: Cancer Polyp Scared Please Help

Hi milimoki, I'm sorry to hear about your mother's diagnosis. I don't know much about cervical polyps, so I just did a little search. From what I've read, 99% are non-cancerous. You say her pathology report says it is cancerous, so she is in that 1%. What I read also said sometimes cervical cancer starts out as polyps. I'm not really clear on what that means. I *do* know that cervical cancer has a very high survival rate if caught early. Do you know what your mother's stage is?

As far as CAT scans, they don't show everything, especially if they are very small. My cancer (Ia1) didn't show on CAT scans, MRIs, or ultrasounds. It only showed as positive for high risk HPV via a swab my doctor did when she did my pap test. That lead to my doctor ordering a colposcopy with ECC (endocervical curettage). The ECC came back adenocarcinoma in situ (highest level of precancer) which sent me for a cone biopsy which came back adenocarcinoma Ia1. My cancer was treated by me having a hysterectomy (only of my uterus and cervix). I will not need chemo or radition. So, if cancer if found early, like mine, it is fairly easily treated and has a very high survival rate.

Since your mother has been diagnosed with cancer, I highly recommend she go to a gyncological oncologist; and it sounds like she has an appointment with one. Good! He/she would best be able to answer your questions. In the mean time, I'm sure others will jump in and tell you what they know.

When it comes to the hysterectomy, yes, it is possible to remove the ovaries, tubes, uterus, and cervix through the vagina. My doctor performed an LAVH (laparoscopically assisted vaginal hyst). She put tools in through 3 holes in my abdomen, cut the connective tissue to/from the uterus and pulled it out, intact, through my vagina.

Other options are Vaginal hysterectomies and the DaVinci Hysterectomy. I don't know a lot about those, though.

If you have any other questions, ask away. Someone will try to answer them as best they can. I've got your mother in my thoughts and prayers!

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Old 07-03-2008, 09:10 PM   #3
Join Date: May 2006
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milimoki HB User
Re: Cancer Polyp Scared Please Help

thanks a bunch, all answers are helpful. I am not sure about the stage. My Mom recieved a call from her Dr. this morning about the results rom the removed polyp. She did mention the word " Insitu or situ" type of polyp. All the women and men in my family have died from cancer of some form so of course she is scared to death. It just seems if she had a pap 7 months ago then she should be ok, unless they are in her uterus as well. I wish they had some test that would test it "all" in a once a year test like the pap. I had this when I was 23 and I am 38 now, and they did a freeze on me, but it's been so long I don't remember all the detail's. I know a cat scan can miss things. I get terrible kidney stones and most of the time they pick up my stones, but once or twice they have missed a 8mm stone.
How uncomfortable is a full hysterectomy? Will blood work show if it has spread or how do they tell if its spread? Do polyps grow slow or fast or does it just depend? I wonder if the 1 percent that turns into cancer means its fast and deadly? Thanks for any info, i am so clueless and reading the internet all day has scared me.

Old 07-04-2008, 10:19 AM   #4
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Re: Cancer Polyp Scared Please Help

Milimoki, I'm glad I said something that helped a bit.

If your mother's pathology report shows "in situ" then that literally means "in location." That means it is (and there are different thoughts on this) either the highest level of precancer (like above a CIN III) OR it is the lowest level of cancer (that is "in location" and hasn't spread) with a level of 0 (zero). This is HIGHLY treatable with a 100% survival rate.

As far as how do they know it has spread . . . My doctor did progressively more invasive tests to see the depth of my atypical cells: pap and HPV/DNA test, colposcopy (w/ possible biopsy), ECC (endocervical curettage), cold knife cone biopsy, another cone biopsy, then the hysterectomy.

Cervical cancer cannot be detective via a blood test, so they can't determine if it is spread or getting worse by a blood test.

If the doctors determine that the cancer is in-situ, then it is possible the doctor will only do a LEEP or cone biopsy. A hysterectomy might also be an option.

As far as pain from a hysterectomy, I won't lie. There is pain. I'm 16 days post op. I am moving slowly and with some discomfort - especially after sitting too long, BUT I can: lay on my side, can almost lay on my tummy, can drive my car, can pick things off the floor (but very carefully, and not very often). The doctors recommend 4-8 weeks off of work for recovery (depending on the type of hysterectomy). After a few weeks, most women are moving about somewhat normally (but carefully and not a LOT), they just get tired pretty quickly and require frequent rests. There is a lifting restriction for the first 2-6 weeks of nothing over 5-15 pounds (depending on the doctor).

Back to your question about the 1%. The cancer I have/had (but has been removed according to the pathology report) was one of the tiny percents. The type of cancer I had (in the epithelial cells) grows faster (is more difficult to find) than the other type of cancer (squamous - which is more common, easier to find, and slower growing). It still took years to grow. My cancer was found early enough that it was very treatable, and easily treatable.

I hope that helps answer your questions.

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