Originally Posted by leighrealm
I had a little spotting(I'm 60) and after a pap test was told I had suspicious cells? Have you ever heard this and not had cancer?
Was it endometrial cells or suspicious cervical cells?
I've heard of both, and either way, it might not be cancer.
When endometrial cells are found in PAPs of postmenopausal women, it makes doctors suspicious that endometrial cancer or hyperplasia (a potentially precancerous condition) might be present. There is no way for them to know, however, without doing an endometrial biopsy. They need to take a sample of tissue from your endometrial lining, and test it in a lab. Until they do that, they will not know whether you have a problem, or how serious it might be.
If you have endometrial cancer, it's probably still in the early stages, and a hysterectomy will probably solve the whole problem- no further treatment needed.
If it's only endometrial hyperplasia, they usually treat that by giving you hormone pills (progesterone) to take for three months, then retesting your uterine lining to make sure the hyperplasia cleared up.
If it was suspicious cervical
cells, more investigation is needed, also.
If your PAP showed abnormal cervical cells, the next step is they'll do a cervical biopsy, where they take a tiny bit of tissue from your cervix, send it to a lab, and analyze it.
Again, even if it's abnormal, it may not be cancer.
It may be cervical dysplasia, which is a precancer, but which can be effectively treated with a minor outpatient procedure so that the abnormal cells will be removed and not turn into cancer (see the Cervical Cancer board for more information on dysplasia treatments).
Either way, "suspicious" doesn't mean cancer, and there's no way they can tell whether you have cancer just from a PAP.
"Suspicious" means they'll have to investigate further, to verify or rule out cancer and decide on a course of treatment.