I was diagnosed with HPV about 2 years ago, but thank god it has been resolved along with leep and CKC procedure I had also. I heard on the radio here in Chicago that they are calling HPV the new HIV. Has anyone else heard of this?
Hi, I agree with Katharine2 in that the reason this was said is because HPV does seem to be a bit of an epidemic because of the amount of people who have it, but it is a very misleading thing to say as HIV and HPV are two very different things.
I was a little worried when you said that your HPV was resolved. There is no cure for HPV yet (a vaccine is on the way as a preventative measure but only for people who are not infected) so if you contract it, you will have it forever.
Yes I have been keeping up with my paps they all have been coming back negative. I know that the vaccine is not out yet, but just by going what my doctor wrote on my visit sheet he gave me a copy and it said that it was resolved. But I've heard that some HPV are treatable. Maybe he lied to me...
It is treatable in the sense that warts can be removed (caused by some strains of hpv) and cells with high grade changes can be removed. It is not curable. Your body, however can fight it off. So in other words your immune system is your only hope to test negative which does happen. In fact, its estimated that most women never even find out they had it. Folic acid can help. Don't smoke, low stress, lots of exercise, you know...and get your paps.
I am totally confused, a little scared and worried. About 2 months ago I saw my test results and there was HPV and "abnormal cells" on that sheet.
The situation is: I have low-cost medical insurance which covers almost anything. Doctors in Brooklyn know it very well. I am afraid that a lot of women become just a part of a scheme of making money.
My gynecologist told me I need biopsy right away. I am a 22 year old woman. I have never had unprotected sex with unchecked men. In 98% cases we use condom. I have Herpes virus (regular-- the one which is called cold-sore -- on my lips sometimes, not the genitales one) and this is a virus that lives in my blood.
My mom is a doctor, but she lives in Russia where healthcare is almost free and doctor's salary does NOT depend on patient at all!!! She said that Herpes can influence cells abnormality, she also said that I should not do BIOPSY for nothing because it will leave scars inside of you. She told me to wait another 3-4 months and then take another test.
My friend found a doctor that will not cure you to death. She does not pay this doctor. The doctor told her the worst thing that could happen to her was: if it is on severe level a 10-minute procedure will remove all papillomes IF they can lead to cancer.
A lot of women get this diagnosis and how do I know whom to believe and what to do. I do not want to be cut for nothing and I also want to have kids in a few years.
I don't know if herpes will affect the pap smear. I'm guessing from my experience the "biopsy" they want to do will be a colposcopy, which is really nothing more that taking little tiny pieces of the top of the cervix. They actually wipe it with a vinegar solution that turns the affected areas white (all televised! I actually watched her do it) It takes 5 minutes and they send that to a lab to tell how serious the changes. It could be nothing or it could be like me where if I waited much longer I could've been fighting something much worse. My advice would be to go ahead with the colp (it won't affect having children, neither will the actual LEEP procedure that they may want to do if it is more serious) and see what kind of changes there are and go from there. If you don't trust your doc see a second one. Your life is worth the extra effort.
I have managed to stop crying long enough to ask you all for help and rational reasoning. My 23 year old daughter's latest Pap Smear came back abnormal, so on Friday her doctor did the vinegar thing and took a biopsy. The doctor told her that it looked like she had skin growing over her cervix but told her that did not necessarily mean cancer. I am a basketcase. This is my baby, my little girl, and the thought of losing her is something I cannot even fathom. She has practiced safe sex, not had multiple sex partners and had yearly Pap Tests and exams, but I am scared, out of my mind. She has always been an active powerhouse, with unlimited energy, but to look at her she appears tiny and frail. What I am seeking from anyone on this board is information from anyone that has gone through this and hoping someone can tell me that my daughter's situation isn't necessarily a death sentence. Any information and/or words of comfort would be greatly appreciated. My husband is in the Marine Corps and presently doing his 3rd tour in Iraq, so I'm going this alone and I'm beyond worried. Also what is the LEEP procedure?
Last edited by ariel2005; 12-03-2005 at 03:37 AM.
Reason: typing mistake
Safe sex or not, hpv is a fact of nature for sexually active people. They estimate 80% of women will have had at some point in their life, but most people's immune systems fight it off before it takes hold. The there are the lucky few, who for whatever reason, get the high risk kind (the kind that causes the changes) and our bodies don't get rid of it. So it causes cellular changes which eventually can lead to cancer. Good news is they are very close to finding a vaccine to prevent it.
The way my doc explained things to me was that it was like a set of stairs. The changes are called ASCUS before they do a colposcopy (the vinegar and biopsy) which stands for abnormal something something of undetermined significance (I can't remember the rest). After the colp, the doc will tell you if the changes are low, mod, high/severe grade changes (each being a step of the staircase, after severe grade changes comes the cellular changes that they call cancerous. As for me, I was 26 when I had my diagnosis and the initial was high/severe. If its just low, the doc will probably just wait and see if her body will fight it on its own and just have her in for frequent paps. If its high or moderate, they might suggest a leep, or some other method of removing it. The most common right now is the leep.
The leep procedure is basically just them slicing off the top layer of the cervix, hopefully taking all the abnormal cells out. They use an electrical loop of current to "cut" with. I had it done awake (with a xanyx and a vicodin for my nerves) and it really wasn't too bad. My friend had it done under a general anesthetic and didn't even know what was going on. Only really lasts a few minutes. They numb you with novacaine (stuff they give ya when you get a tooth pulled) and the needle is the part that hurts, after that you don't feel much. I thought the colposcopy hurt worse, honestly. Then the doctor smears some goop to cauterize it and you go home. A couple days of cramps, but not really worse than a prolonged pms.
I had to have a second one b/c the first biopsy came back that the abnormal cells were all the way to the edges of the piece they took so she did another one just to make sure they got it all. That time it came back virtually clear. Its been a year now, and I just went back for another pap (you get the pleasure of going every 3 months for a while) and am awaiting the results. Its definitely nerve racking and I remember the craziness I went through when I first found out. It gets better. It definitely helps to talk about it. Just take one day at a time with her, b/c she is feeling just as scared as you. And make sure she goes in for paps whenever the doc says. Cervical cancer is 100% curable when we catch the changes during pap smears. I was lucky. I hadn't gone for a pap in 5 years when I finally went. Another year could've changed everything.
She'll be alright. Its unfortunately just part of life for some of us. Let me know if I didn't answer all your questions or if you've got more. (One frequent one is whether leeps affect getting pregnant later, and the answer is no, not too worry.)
I've been there. Read up on it and it will definately help you feel better. It isn't as bad as it sounds. I took it rather hard at first too, till I read up on it and made sure I was more aware of it. At first I felt like I had really done something wrong with my life, I really messed up, and just plain dirty. I was made aware of it when I had an abnormal pap as well. I'm thinking what triggered my body to make it begin to effect me was being pregnant and having the baby. Up till then/since then I have had no issues. I'm not sure if that is a possibility, but all I know is I had always been fine, was fine till my first pap after the baby, and been fine since I had it taken care of.
When I found out, they did a bunch of biopsies to begin with. *Colposcopies* and I did end up having to have a cone biopsy. Overall it wasn't too bad. I wasn't too thrilled about the cone biopsy since I had to be put under for it which scared the heck outta me, but in reality that was the worst part of it.
Had paps every 3 months for two years, and now I have them every 6 months. They always come back normal.
I understand being upset, but it's really not as bad as it initially seems. I just can't stress enough to READ UP ON IT. Oh, and also, don't be scared by the term of "warts". That I think initially really freaked me out too, but all this time, I never once have had one, at least to my knoweldge. I'm not quite sure if you can get them internally *shrugs* but I have never had one I have SEEN I should say, nor been told I had one by the gyno.
The kinds that produce warts are different strains than the ones we've had. The ones that cause the cellular changes are known as high risk kinds. I guess in a way the people that get the warts are almost lucky b/c those have not been found (yet) to lead to cervical cancer. In fact, the warts are just extra growth which is a type of cellular change, in the high risk strains the cellular changes are microscopic.
I agree with you though, arming yourself with info is what I did too. Just a word of caution, don't freak yourself out as you do. I think I kind of scared myself sometimes.
You're probably right about the pregnancy though. Your body was focussing its energy on the baby and not on fighting off the virus. As for me, I was a smoker, lack of sleep, high stress, poor diet....no excuses huh?
I just wish there wasn't the social stigma attached to hpv. Some days I just want to make sure all of my female friends know the importance of getting their paps on time yearly. I also wish they'd just put it on billboards: you probably will get hpv at some point so be sure to get your paps. They don't tell you all that in highschool. They say hpv causes warts and show you some ugly, scary pictures. They don't mention that it is responsible for 95% of cervical cancers. And that you probably won't ever see things like those pictures. I have found though as I gain courage to talk about it most of my closer female friends in my age range mid twenties have had it. It is kind of comforting...
I can't thank "serenity26" and "ozangel83" for their information and definite words of comfort. At least I feel hopeful now, which I did NOT prior to reading your postings. I know my daughter will feel alot better as well when she reads them, even though she is actively carrying on with her life like she's fine and I'm actively trying not to let her see me cry everytime I look at her. Her little body doesn't look like it could fight off anything and the immune system information sure makes sense in her case. I had no idea about anything you both told me regarding this and I have had 3 babies and at one time abnormal pap smears myself. I too went through the cone biopsy, and also cryosurgery and a D. & C. because of them, but was told in my situation that it was because my cervix was lacerated during childbirth after giving birth to an 11 pound baby. I will indeed read up on everything because I am shocked at how much I DO NOT KNOW. I feel like I've been walking around with my head in a bucket. I hear the word "cancer" and I must just zone out or something. Anyway, thank you both so much.