I posted a few months back and wanted to give you an update on me and some results to anyone who's going through/considering an Efudex treatment for their cervical dysplaia due to HPV infection.
I went through a 10 week treatment (1x per week) of Efudex cream inserted vaginally and completed it Feb 1, 2006. during my treatment and since, I have made a very conscious effort to eat healthy, get as much sleep as my crazy schedule will allow, and do something I hadn't done since I was a child taking Flintstone brands -- took a daily multivitamin.
I am happy to report that despite all the side effects I had during the treatment (I started my ten weeks in September 2005, and took various weeks off due to UTI's and general discomfort) my NP took two paps (one outside the cervix and one inside) and both came back completely negative!
So despite all the problems and slow recovery my abnormally sensitive body had to the treatment, it did work for me and maintined my NP's 100% success rate with this cream. I am proud to say I am an advocate and will hopefully reinforce that at my 4 month follow-up in November.
Thanks to all those on this board who gave me support during and after my treatments. The 2 1/2 years of "watch and wait" were such a pain, but I'm glad I was able to get rid of it using this alternative method with no cutting/freezing/LEEPing done to my cervix.
Have a great evening and thank you all again. I wish you all the best.
What stage was the dysplasia? Mine was labeled "HGSIL with moderate dysplasia". Schedule for a cone in August, and would those to have a little more info on what you went through and more about the side effects.
my stage was exactly the same as yours! The treatment they gave me was in lieu of a LEEP/cone/freezing, etc b/c they wanted to keep my cervix intact. A large area was affected by the dysplia and removing it, eventhough the chance was minor, MAY have caused complications in pregnancy should I choose to have kids in the future. So i was sent to a specialist who used this different method frequently and with great success.
You insert a syringe with this cream called Efudex vaginally once per week for 10 weeks right before you go to bed. You cover the outside of your vagina with Balmex or some other kind of protective cream they reccommend so the Efudex doesn't get on your skin in case some leaks out over night.
The side effects I had were cramps (similar to period cramps) and recurrent UTIs. The Dr's never 100% bought that my UTIs were from the treatment b/c they'd never experienced that side effect with any other patient before. Most report burning/itching b/c of the cream leaking onto the skin. But b/c of the UTIs I was on and off antibiotics for quite a few months and anyone who's taken a lot of them knows that they can upset your stomach. So I was not feeling myself for the majority of the holiday season last year and not knowing what else to blame it on, I blamed it on the treatment.
Anyways, I started Efudex in October and finished in February. Afterwards, they say you must wait 4 months to pap so your body has time to heal b/c if any of the cream/unshed cells are left in you, they could result in a bad pap. My healing took a bit longer than usual (im quite sensitive) and though it didnt hurt, my NP kept saying she didn't want to pap b/c "it still looks like you've got a sunburn in there." So we'd push it off a few weeks here and there and finally two weeks ago she told me I looked perfectly fine, took two paps, and both came back negative!!
So eventhough I had a rough time with the treatment, it worked for me and no operations were needed. This was my personal choice to try this method so I wouldn't discourage you or anyone else from going through with a cone, LEEP, etc to get rid of the problem. You'll probably see results a lot faster! I am just trying to get more info out there on this Efudex treatment b/c I know when I was in your place last summer and was first told about this cream there was almost NO info out there and no one had any idea what I was talking about nor could I find anyone's personal account of their experience with it.
So there you have it. I hope whatever treatment you choose goes well for you!
Wow! It does sound like you went through alot. I am also very sensitive to creams and such. I had a cone biopsy done about 20 years ago, and really can't remember what I went through, but was hoping to find an alternative to yet another surgery.
You did anser all of my questions, and I having my pre-op appointment today and I am going to ask about the cream. I hope I can pronounce it correctly so the doctor doesn't think I don't know what I am talking about.
Again, good luck and thanks for all the information.
I was just looking on the website for this treatment. it says on there 'not for intravaginal use'. i guess my question is how you get this treatment for dysplasia? are doctors usually willing to prescribe?
I know! They had that warning right on the very package of it they gave me and I must've called the NP up 10 times to make sure they'd prescribed the right thing to me. I thought it was kind of ridiculous that I was about to do they very thing the warnings said NOT to do. But this is an unconventional and not widely used method (yet) for dealing with dysplasia and I've learned that some doctors swear by it and some won't give it the time of day (and some have never even heard of it).
It was a leap of faith I went with b/c I'm usually one who needs to read a ton of literature on any medication before I use it and there's next to nothing about vaginal use of this stuff out there. Only info on its primary use which is to treat skin cancers.
Anyways, I got the prescription through my NP who is a gynecologic oncologist - she just gave me a normal prescription sheet that I took to the pharmacy. When i went to pick it up the pharmacists took me to the side and said they thought there might have been a mistake and they had called the doctor to make sure this was the intention for this cream. It was quite an ordeal and made me second guess myself numerous times. But the NP assured me that people just aren't used to it being used for dysplasia yet and it would soon become a norm as the success rates of it get out there.
Again, I am not trying to promote using this stuff over any other method, just trying to get word out there that it does exist, it worked for me, and it might be worth asking your OBGYN about his or her opinion on it. Just don't be suprised if they tilt their head to the side and go "what is that?" cuz that's what my GP did when I told him what they'd given me for it.