I was wondering if anyone else out there has experience what I have gone through. I have had one abnormal pap (while 6 weeks pregnant) with my first son in 2006. they repeated it and did a colpopscopy and everything was fine. I have had normal paps since then but had a positive HPV but normal pap in Jan of 2008. They told me to repeat in 6 months but I was about a week pregnant at the time so they never repeated it (big mistake). They just said we'll repeat in at your post-delivery check-up. I had my second son in Oct. 2008 and they discovered a cyst next to my cervix at my post-delivery check-up in December. It came back carcinoma in situ (pre-cancer) and they sent me to gyn. onc. He did a leep in January and said it look cancerous just by looking at it. It came back as Stage 2A Cervical cancer.Long story short, I had a laproscopic attempted hysterectomy in Feb (at Johns Hopkins) that couldn't be finished b/c the lymph nodes were positive and the original tumor size was too large. I am now undergoing chemo and radiation but am frustrated that this is supposed to be preventable. The docs both think this grew while pregnant b/c it is an adenosquamous tumor and they grow quickly. I just thought there is more history to build up to this. I don't know if a lawsuit is in question for the docs who didn't follow-up my pap. I am not interested but my family certainly is interested in considering it. For those with irregular paps who get pregnant - make them test you during your pregnancy! At least I have two beautiful kids. I wanted another one but now I am concentrating on getting healthy!
Wow, that sucks. You always read that cervical cancer is preventable, but it seems that's just not true!! (For me, invasive cancer would be 100% preventable if I would just have a hysterectomy . . . but I'm trying to avoid that!)
My thoughts are with you and I hope you treatments will kick the cancer's butt!
Hi Avery. I am so sorry to hear about this. My HPV progressed rapidly to an invasive cancer while I was pregnant with my daughter. Pregnancy causes immunosuppression which can allow the virus to progress significantly, as obviously it did it your case, as well as mine. Just what type of HPV were you diagnosed wtih? Was it 16 by any chance?
Pardon my stupidity but what is AIS? When they thought it was just pre-cancer, they told me have another child asap. Obviously things changed once they diagnosed me with Stage 2. If you have pre-cancerous cells, etc., I think they would tell you to have kids as soon as possible. I would just have at least one pap during the pregnancy to make sure nothing has progressed during that time. My situation is quite rare and the type I have is very rare - adenosquamous is less than 15% of all cervical cancers. I am not sure what type of HPV I was diagnosed with. I guess I should seek that out.
AIS is adenocarcinoma in situ. It is pre-cancer or Stage 0 cancer depending on who you ask. Regardless of whether it's actually cancer, the "definitive" treatment for it is hysterectomy. I think a few of us on this board are here because we have opted for "conservative management" which basically means removal of any naughty areas and then close follow up.
AIS involoves glangular cells which are higher up in the cervical canal. Adenocarcinoma is the less common form of cerivcal cancer, the most common involving squamous cells. Adenocarcinoma is faster moving, and sometimes there can be "skip lesions" meaning there are good spaces between areas of bad cells. That's why the hyst is the "preferred" treatment if you are done with having kids. They can ever really be sure that they got it all.
Sorry to hear of your diagnosis. I know how devastating it can be when you expect a lesser diagnosis and get the worst. My HPV turned to full blown invasive squamous cell within 4 years. Typically they say it can be up to 20 years before the virus alters the cells enough to produce a cancer. Obviously not so in my case, or yours.
Given the diagnosis you probably have HPV18 as it is responsible for a higher percentage of glandular cell cancers than 16 is, or a combination of the two.