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Old 05-10-2006, 10:01 AM   #1
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Question HPV Positive Next is Colposcopy and Biopsy

I am having both a colposcopy and biopsy. My pap smear came back...abnormal cells, HPV positive. I've read that the most common virus to cause cervical cancer is HPV and the older you are; the higher the risk of biopsy findings to be cancer vice pre-cancerous cells. Interestd in hearing about other's experiences with the procedure(s) and results.

 
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Old 05-10-2006, 11:12 AM   #2
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Re: HPV Positive Next is Colposcopy and Biopsy

Do you know what level of abnormal cells your pap was read as? There are four common categories - ASCUS (meaning abnormal cells but they are not sure whether they are because of precancerous changes or other factors), mild, moderate and severe. With an ASCUS result along with HPV + i believe standard of care is to go straight to colposcopy to identify the type of cell changes. Mild changes they will usually wait and repap in three months. Moderate/severe changes is also referred to colpo right away. You could call your doc and find out the terminology on your pap if you do not know it already. I found this really helped me when I had my first abnormal smear - it turned out to be severe.

I'm not sure I've read the same information that you are likely to have cancer found on biopsy the older you are? You may be more likely to have a higher level of precancerous abnormality... Be assured that even a higher level of precancerous abnormality does not necessarily mean you will get cervical cancer, however these types of changes do need to be treated as there is a higher risk of it turning into cancer.

Did the doctor see something on your cervix when he did the pap? the pap is less likely to pick up actual invasive cancer, it is a screening tool to detect precancerous changes.

When do you go for your colposcopy? You may want to take a couple of ibuprofen beforehand, the biopsy pinches a bit.

Let me know if you have any questions. I'd be more than happy to talk with you about this. My personal belief is "knowledge is power" and the more you understand what is going on with your body, the more confident you will be with the procedures/treatment.

Karen

 
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Old 05-10-2006, 12:41 PM   #3
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Re: HPV Positive Next is Colposcopy and Biopsy

I agree...knowledge is power!

Currently, do not know any more than I posted. BUT since reading over 50 threads on this site...I have a call into my doc. Many questions to include questions you raised (thx)!

@ Pap don't believe doc "saw" anything. Have been with him for 26+ yrs and know him to always be a straight forward physician as well as person.

Colposcopy is scheduled for 18 May. Nurse who set up the appt recommeded taking ibuprophen before the procedure. Thx for confirming.

If I understand the four common categories you refer to, I either have ASCUS or some other type of moderate to severe changes if he is going directly to colpo and biopsy. I think nurse mentioned going into the canal too. Will direct these questions to nurse and doc when they return my call. I will ask what level of abnormal cells was found during initial Pap.

I am a career woman and for 3+ yrs a single mom. Used to handling stress. As such, I keep my concerns to a mimimum. It doesn't help to worry and I will address the issues as they present themselves.

Sure need that knowledge now so my confidence doesn't wane. Should know more when I have spoken w/doc.

Thank you for responding with such insight! Karen, I respect your level of knowledge. This message board is not only informative it's supportive!

 
Old 05-10-2006, 12:57 PM   #4
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Re: HPV Positive Next is Colposcopy and Biopsy

As Karen said, I've also never read that the likelihood of finding cancer on biopsy increases with age. Perhaps it's true, though. In any case, even the early stages of cancer are essentially 100% treatable, and it's extremely unlikely that anything more serious than that will be found.

"Going into the canal" just means that they insert a bristled wand (it looks like a pipe cleaner) into the endocervical canal to check to see if dysplasia is present there. This is what causes most of the cramping, and what the Ibuprofen will really help with.

Keep staying calm! There's no reason to get too nervous about the procedure. It's quick and any pain or discomfort is transient.

 
Old 05-10-2006, 02:19 PM   #5
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Re: HPV Positive Next is Colposcopy and Biopsy

Synergy, you sound pretty level headed which is a very good thing when it comes to dealing with this stuff. It took me over a year, and a lot of work but I finally was able to be a bit calmer about this too. I think it is great you have put a call in to your doctor, and that you have a good relationship with this doc. Trust and confidence in our doctors will assist with our nerves and healing from treatment.

the canal scraping is also known as an ECC. it can cause some discomfort and it is a bit of an odd sensation (I found, anyway). If you can, after the colpo, if a lesion is seen, ask your doc to draw you a picture so you can visualize the area. The doc should also be able to give you a "best guess" on what he is seeing, but of course you will have to wait for the biopsy results to get the true answer.

Once you have answers and a plan of action, you are back in control and that control keeps us grounded. Let us know what your doctor says.

Karen

 
Old 05-15-2006, 12:13 PM   #6
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Re: HPV Positive Next is Colposcopy and Biopsy

Quote:
Originally Posted by karen32
Synergy, you sound pretty level headed which is a very good thing when it comes to dealing with this stuff. It took me over a year, and a lot of work but I finally was able to be a bit calmer about this too. I think it is great you have put a call in to your doctor, and that you have a good relationship with this doc. Trust and confidence in our doctors will assist with our nerves and healing from treatment.

the canal scraping is also known as an ECC. it can cause some discomfort and it is a bit of an odd sensation (I found, anyway). If you can, after the colpo, if a lesion is seen, ask your doc to draw you a picture so you can visualize the area. The doc should also be able to give you a "best guess" on what he is seeing, but of course you will have to wait for the biopsy results to get the true answer.

Once you have answers and a plan of action, you are back in control and that control keeps us grounded. Let us know what your doctor says.

Karen
Thank you, Karen. I will ask doc to give me his professional opinion after the procedure and exam as well as have him draw something to help me visualize.

I heard from the nurse, not my doc. She said he is out of town. Either way, she read part of the pap result language and ...abnormal cells are "squamous (sp?)". Nurse didn't seem to be concerned... said Doc would explain everything when I arrive on Thursday. So we will just have to wait and see. I have to expend my energy on family and work right now. Will deal with this Thursday and let you know what I find out. The information you all have provided has helped me understand possible outcomes Thank you

 
Old 05-19-2006, 12:43 PM   #7
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Re: HPV Positive Next is Colposcopy and Biopsy

Had colpo and biopsy (to include ECC). Relatively simple procedures. Uncomfortable but tolerable. Found 2 types of abnormal cells in a small area. Expect results Tuesday PM. Will post result shortly there after.

Karen, Doc drew me a picture of the cervix pinpointing area in question. Also explained the two types of cells but I can't recall the technical lterms. Have a call into doc's office asking them to reiterate. Thx for the advise.
How are you doing? You said you have been going through this for a year?! Tell me you are out of the woods and fairing well...

Until Tuesday I play the "waiting game".

 
Old 05-19-2006, 01:42 PM   #8
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Re: HPV Positive Next is Colposcopy and Biopsy

Hey Synergy - glad your appointment is over and you don't have to wait too long for the results. Your doc was probably referring to squamous cells, which are the cells that line the surface of the cervix. Squamous cells are more likely to undergo cell changes. Squamous cell carcinoma is what i had. The other type of cells are glandular and they are located in the cervical canal. The glandular cells are a bit trickier in that they typically do not show up on the pap smear. The ECC should be able to collect a sample of the glandular cells in the canal and give a reading of whether or not they are affected. When the glandular cells are affected, they are referred to adenocarcinoma in situ (which is not yet invasive) and invasive adenocarcinoma.

As well, your doctor could have been referring to the severity of the cell changes, usually in terms of mild, moderate, severe, or CIN 1, CIN 2, CIN 3, or CIS (carcinoma in situ).

I'm glad you have a call in to find out more information.

I'm doing very well, thanks I am coming up on two years since the surprise cancer was removed (June 16). Two years is a magic number when it comes to recurrence, "they say" you are unlikely to experience a recurrence after two years. My journey was more an emotional one, in that I had to be my own health advocate to get the treatment that I felt comfortable with. I had the hysterectomy in September and I haven't really looked back since. Very comfortable with my decision and I know that I have done everything I can do to minimize the chances of it coming back. There is always the possibility of recurrence on the vaginal vault or vulva, but the risk is much lower than if I still had my cervix.

Okay, enough of my novel I hope you hear back from your doctor soon, and that you get your results first thing on Tuesday morning.

Karen

 
Old 05-22-2006, 08:35 AM   #9
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Re: HPV Positive Next is Colposcopy and Biopsy

Karen, always feel free to share...I don't mind "your novel". For me learning what others are dealing with helps me put things in perspective. I gain knowledge and we both agree...knowledge is power. Thank you for sharing.

OBTW, stepped out of my office for a mtg this am and my doc called while I was out!!! Oh well. Monday morning and already playing phone tag. ;-)

 
Old 05-22-2006, 08:42 AM   #10
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Re: HPV Positive Next is Colposcopy and Biopsy

Karen ~
I, too, am greatful for all that you post. I have to wait until June 13th for my colpo. My GP said I had "severe" changes but did not explain. Now I have to wait till then to get any information.....it sucks. I am also thinking hysto because I am 47 years old & in full-blown menopause...no period for 6 months. Plus, on an earlier post I mentioned I am a DES daughter so I hope this specialist takes all of this into account...I don't need my cervix anymore.
Synergy ~ PLEASE post your results. It helps us all. Thanks, ladies.

 
Old 05-22-2006, 11:32 AM   #11
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Re: HPV Positive Next is Colposcopy and Biopsy

Thanks ladies, glad I can be of some help. Synergy, I hope your phone tag doesn't last too long....

 
Old 05-22-2006, 07:39 PM   #12
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Re: HPV Positive Next is Colposcopy and Biopsy

Can't stop thinking about "what do I do if"...It is 2130 hrs and I have to get up at 0430 hrs and all of a sudden I am concerned...no actually worried about results. I disappoint myself...by nature I am strong and grounded for my children, family, friends and myself and this is so out of character that I am ashamed of myself. There are women on this message board facing mountains in front of them and I am expending energy and whining over an abnormal pap and colpo results! I am sooo bloated, over due for my period, having severe pain in the back of legs, quads. Wonder if the colpo could have altered my cycle. Could colpo affect these sympthoms so quickly? Colpo was only 4 days ago. Maybe this is just a combination of PMS (+ period being late), recent colpo/biopsy procedure, and subconsiously surpressed anxiety.

Thought about not posting this but then again it is real to me...so here goes.

 
Old 05-22-2006, 09:24 PM   #13
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Re: HPV Positive Next is Colposcopy and Biopsy

Oh Synergy, please do not feel ashamed for feeling what you are feeling! You are going through a very stressful event. YES, it IS stressful, and you know what? You ARE allowed to moan about it It's quite alright, and all the girls here know what you are going through because we've lived it too. Very normal. Your mortality has been threatened. It is okay that you are strong for your family, that you put on a brave face, but it is ALSO okay to be vulnerable. Gather strength from the posts that you read. Take comfort in the knowledge that you have found. It is okay to take a dip in the pity pool (as long as you don't decide to stay there...), we've been there, and we've made it out stronger.

I so wish your doctor had gotten back to you today. I'm guessing that is adding to your stress tonight. Do know that whatever the results are, you WILL be able to deal with them, I know it!

I hope you are sleeping soundly now. I'll be thinking of you tomorrow.

Karen

 
Old 05-23-2006, 09:42 AM   #14
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Re: HPV Positive Next is Colposcopy and Biopsy

Well I called the office for colpo and biopsy results and Triage Nurse said Doc was wrong to tell me to call today. Results take 7-10 days...she told me to "try back" on Friday.

Thank you for validating my feelings with such kind words of wisdom, Karen.

Learned I have to hold on to my "level head" a little bit tighter while riding this roller coaster.

 
Old 05-25-2006, 07:31 AM   #15
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Lightbulb Re: HPV Positive Next is Colposcopy and Biopsy

Doc called me with results. First, cell pattern found at colpo was "punctation" and "white epithelial (Acetowhite)". No mosaic or atypical vessel patterns found.
ECC was benign. Which is great news! So no abnormal cells/cancer in endocervical canal/area.
Biopsy of cervix surface diagnosed as Low Grade Squamous Intraepithelial Lesions (LGSIL) which doc said is equal to Cervical Intraepthelial Neoplasia (CIN-I). He further explained the different levels from (1) being normal to (6) being cancer. This is what I wrote down:

(1) Normal Pap
(2) Abmnormal Pap (nothing found)
(3) Abnormal Pap (ASCUS)
(4) LGSIL (= CIN-I)
(5) HGSIL High Grade (=CIN-II and CIN-III)
(6) CIS (Carcinoma In Situ)

He recommended a Cryotherapy/surgery (freezing abnormal tissue) instead of Ablasion (sp?) (cauterize abnormal tissue with a laser) but after researching I am not keen on having a watery discharge for 2-3 wks. I will discuss alternatives with him, specifically the Ablasion over Cryotherapy. Also will ask him what type HPV I have.

Can anyone tell me about ablasion with laser vice Cryotherapy?

 
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