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Old 01-14-2011, 06:14 PM   #1
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Cervical Cancer Symptoms? Appreciate your help!

Cervical Cancer Symptoms
Hi all.. I am having a few symptoms that point towards cervical cancer and was looking for some guidance. Iím getting some tests done, but as you can imagine, Iím scared so trying to do some of my own research in the mean time.

My husband and I had sex about a month ago, and I bled during it. I wasnít too concerned until it happened again the time after thatÖ it was quite a bit of blood and included a clot. Both times the bleeding stopped directly after. The second time, the blood was very liquidy, almost wateryÖ Ever since then Iíve been afraid to do it again.. itís embarrassing and it also gives me anxiety so I cannot enjoy myself.

Since the last time, I have been having some pelvic pain on and off, and some more discharge than normal. This week I had severe nausea. This happened a couple of days during the past week.

I went to the Dr. today and she tested my urine.. came back with some white blood cells. She put me on antibiotics in case I have a bladder infection (Iíve had several.)
She did a pelvic exam and I bled during that, which has never happened to me be before. BTW, I am 32 years old.

I know the above symptoms point towards Cervical cancer, but I had a routine pap smear a little over 2 months ago and it all came back normal. Is Cervical cancer even a possibility, or would something show up abnormal during my routine pap?
I appreciate your time.

 
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Old 01-14-2011, 08:42 PM   #2
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Re: Cervical Cancer Symptoms? Appreciate your help!

I've been in the exact same boat as you- right around your age is when it started.
I had the exact same issues: spotting after sex, increased discharge, mild crampiness. Terrified about cervical cancer, avoided having sex because I didn't want to bleed.

In my case, it turned out to be a benign cervical polyp.
I had it removed.
Since then, I've had two more.
They tend to recur, but are nearly always benign, so they're more a nuisance problem than anything. They aren't serious, and don't even require removal unless they cause bothersome symptoms.
They are extremely common in women over 30, and those who have had children... many times more common than cervical cancer, that's for sure.

If you recently had a normal PAP, the problem is very unlikely to be cervical cancer.

I'd say it's very likely to be a cervical polyp, but the fact that you had a pelvic exam and the doctor didn't see one makes me wonder. Usually they're quite visible during a pelvic; the doctor would usually see it right away and know exactly what it was, and probably remove it then and there.
But perhaps you have a very small polyp, or one that's high up in the cervix, and that's why the doctor didn't see it.

Another possibility is cervical ectropion, aka cervical erosion.
Also not serious, although it sounds pretty awful, lol.
It just means that your cervix is sensitive and prone to bleed easily.
It's caused by hormones, and is common in teens and very young women, and also in women of any age who take oral contraception.

These possibilities strike me as being a good deal more likely than cervical cancer, especially at your relatively young age, and given the fact that you just had a normal PAP.

There's also the possibility that the bleeding is coming from your uterus.
You could have a cyst, a fibroid, or an endometrial polyp, or endometrial hyperplasia (which is when your uterine lining builds up and becomes too thick).
None of this is life-threatening, all of it is treatable.

Don't worry too much.
Just do a lot of research online, and keep pestering your doctor until he or she figures it out.
I read a very reputable medical study recently about post-coital bleeding (bleeding after sex), and it said that the odds of a patient with post-coital bleeding having cervical cancer are approximately 1 in 44,000 for women in their 20s, and 1 in 2,400 for women over 45.
Since you're in your 30s, your odds of having cervical cancer, even with the symptoms you describe, would probably be about... 1 in 20,000?
The study I'm referring to also listed a lot of other, far more common reasons that women can experience bleeding after sex.
I can PM you the link to this study if you want. I don't want to post it here because I'm not sure I understand what the forum rules are when it comes to posting links.

But anyway, my point is... you probably don't have anything to worry about.
It's probably something pretty minor.
Just do a lot of research, and you'll see.

Take care!

Last edited by Mod-S4; 07-19-2011 at 09:29 AM. Reason: Unnecessary quote removed. Search instructions removed.

 
Old 01-15-2011, 10:14 AM   #3
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Re: Cervical Cancer Symptoms? Appreciate your help!

Kali333 - Thank you so much... You gave me a lot of information!
I didn't know cervical cancer takes 6-10 years to develop until I did more research last night... and since I go to my annual exams yearly like clockwork, that is pretty much impossible! Which is great.

Thank you again for your thoughtful and helpful response.

Also, I am interested in that link.

 
Old 01-15-2011, 10:19 AM   #4
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Re: Cervical Cancer Symptoms? Appreciate your help!

One question for you Kali333.. How long do the cervical polyps take to develop? When I went to the Dr. the other day, she didn't really do a pap; she is my GP and just toook some cultures. I have an appt with my OB on the 21st to get a full pap again.

 
Old 01-15-2011, 10:40 AM   #5
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Re: Cervical Cancer Symptoms? Appreciate your help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by fayevest View Post
One question for you Kali333.. How long do the cervical polyps take to develop? When I went to the Dr. the other day, she didn't really do a pap; she is my GP and just toook some cultures. I have an appt with my OB on the 21st to get a full pap again.
Oh, I don't know.
They must develop rather quickly.
At my annual exam when I was 31, i didn't have any, and then a year later, at 32, they found a rather large one.

Most cervical polyps are pendulous- that is, they're hanging from your cervix by a little thread of skin, and sort of teardrop shaped. The doctor can easily twist it off with tweezers or whatever instrument they use for that purpose, and you probably won't even feel it. Then the doctor will send it in to a lab to check it for cancer. Although very rare, cervical polyps can contain abnormal cells (in less than 1% of cases).

There is another type of cervical polyp, though, which is rarer. It's called a broad-based polyp, and is attached by a broader base. Unfortunately, this is the type I'm prone to. They're still benign. The only difference is, they can't be easily twisted off in an office visit. They have to be cut off, which is sort of painful.
A few years ago, I had one cut off while I was awake, without any pain-killer.
That was so painful that I swore I'd never do it again. Last month, when the doctor discovered another broad-based polyp, I opted for sedation. I was completely knocked out when she removed it, and didn't feel a thing.

If it turns out you have a polyp, just remember: they're almost never serious. The main reason to have them removed is to stop the annoying symptoms and bleeding.

I almost hope that is what's causing your problems, because it's a quick fix, and then you'll be fine.

 
Old 01-15-2011, 10:43 AM   #6
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Re: Cervical Cancer Symptoms? Appreciate your help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kali333 View Post
Oh, I don't know.
They must develop rather quickly.
At my annual exam when I was 31, i didn't have any, and then a year later, at 32, they found a rather large one.

Most cervical polyps are pendulous- that is, they're hanging from your cervix by a little thread of skin, and sort of teardrop shaped. The doctor can easily twist it off with tweezers or whatever instrument they use for that purpose, and you probably won't even feel it. Then the doctor will send it in to a lab to check it for cancer. Although very rare, cervical polyps can contain abnormal cells (in less than 1% of cases).

There is another type of cervical polyp, though, which is rarer. It's called a broad-based polyp, and is attached by a broader base. Unfortunately, this is the type I'm prone to. They're still benign. The only difference is, they can't be easily twisted off in an office visit. They have to be cut off, which is sort of painful.
A few years ago, I had one cut off while I was awake, without any pain-killer.
That was so painful that I swore I'd never do it again. Last month, when the doctor discovered another broad-based polyp, I opted for sedation. I was completely knocked out when she removed it, and didn't feel a thing.

If it turns out you have a polyp, just remember: they're almost never serious. The main reason to have them removed is to stop the annoying symptoms and bleeding.

I almost hope that is what's causing your problems, because it's a quick fix, and then you'll be fine.
I've been reading about them and you're right... they are just a nuisance... which I can totally deal with. Thank you again!

 
Old 01-23-2011, 06:28 PM   #7
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Re: Cervical Cancer Symptoms? Appreciate your help!

fayevest-I hope good news has come your way with your recent exams. One point of clarification just as an fyi- there are different types of cervical cancer. While it is true that the more common form-squamous cell-tends to be slow growing and can take 6-10 years to develop into invasive cancer, this is not true of all cervical cancers. Some are quite aggressive and can become invasive cancer within a year. Getting a Pap test every year is the best way to protect yourself. Be sure your gyn is using the newer liquid test. The more aggressive forms of cervical cancer can be hard to detect on a Pap, but the liquid test test does a better job.

 
Old 01-24-2011, 03:58 AM   #8
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Re: Cervical Cancer Symptoms? Appreciate your help!

For women over 35 with negative HPV tests, however, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists no longer recommends annual PAPs.
PAPs every three years, is what they recommend.

 
Old 01-24-2011, 05:44 AM   #9
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Re: Cervical Cancer Symptoms? Appreciate your help!

It is correct that every 3 years is the recommendation, however it is important to understand that the recommendation is based on a financial model. That model takes into account there will be women who will develop cervical cancer within that three year period, but the cost of treating those women is less than the cost of providing a yearly Pap for all women. A lot is unknown about HPV and just because someone tests negative one year does not mean they will always test negative. Furthermore, after age 35 is when cervical dysplasia can be most dangerous. It is unfortunate some assume these recommendations are based on what will be best for the health of all women when in reality they are based on what makes best financial sense. The most aggressive forms of cervical cancer can become invasive within a year. A annual Pap test is the best way to protect against cervical cancer.

 
Old 01-24-2011, 04:28 PM   #10
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Re: Cervical Cancer Symptoms? Appreciate your help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by cestlavie View Post
It is correct that every 3 years is the recommendation, however it is important to understand that the recommendation is based on a financial model. That model takes into account there will be women who will develop cervical cancer within that three year period, but the cost of treating those women is less than the cost of providing a yearly Pap for all women. A lot is unknown about HPV and just because someone tests negative one year does not mean they will always test negative. Furthermore, after age 35 is when cervical dysplasia can be most dangerous. It is unfortunate some assume these recommendations are based on what will be best for the health of all women when in reality they are based on what makes best financial sense. The most aggressive forms of cervical cancer can become invasive within a year. A annual Pap test is the best way to protect against cervical cancer.
Wow, I didn't realize that. It makes sense.

 
Old 01-31-2011, 07:14 AM   #11
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Re: Cervical Cancer Symptoms? Appreciate your help!

I had CINII & never had any symptoms whatsoever.
Didn't even know I had it until my Pap came back abnormal.

 
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