Five Years of ASC-US and High-Risk HPV... Help?
Hello there, HealthBoard Users-
Being an extremely private person with a practically non-existent group of people I find trustworthy, I tend to keep my health concerns to myself. In light of recent events and much internal debate, I have come to the conclusion that posting here may be my best bet to alleviate my concerns. I apologize for any rambling or unnecessary side-tangents that may arise.
I am twenty-four years old. My health overall is so-so (severe anxiety, depression, seizures, BPD, PTSD, etc..) and I am fairly prone to illness thanks to a shoddy immune system and, until recently, little access to medical help. Anyway, enough about that.
The best way to approach this is chronologically, so here we go:
I have a history of irregular and heavy periods. Due to this, I was put on birth control to manage them in my early teenage years (13, I believe.) I have been getting a Pap done yearly since about that age. I got the Mirena IUD at nineteen.
At eighteen, I had my pap done, my doctor said nothing, so I went about my business. When I came in a year later, I was informed that last year's Pap was ASC-US and had to get a biopsy. My doctor is scattered and whether the "no news is good news" rule applied or not, I was never told anything further. Being young and not understanding the potential seriousness of the situation, I assumed I was fine. I lost my insurance and stopped getting checked annually (slap on the wrist, I know.)
Fast forward to this year - I'm going in to the doctor every few months for increasingly irregular periods that should not be happening at all due to Mirena. These were accompanied by horrible back, abdominal and pelvic pain, nausea, vomiting, weight loss, and many other symptoms that may or may not have been related. My doctor decided to take my IUD out (I didn't need it - I had hoped it would save me from the irregularity but seemed to be the cause by this point.)
During its removal, she did my Pap for the year. I asked her to call me if she found anything, but as doctors tend to be busy, she never got back to me.
I went in last week with a sinus infection and she 'happened' to mention that my ASC-US is still present and in an "oh, by the way," fashion, informed me that I have high-risk HPV. This was never mentioned before, so I don't know if I've had HPV for over five years or not, but she didn't seem concerned about that factor. She then scared me half to death about how I need to quit smoking (which I have been in the weaning process of doing) because my family has a history riddled with cancer and that I'm pretty much guaranteeing myself cervical cancer by continuing to smoke. At the end, she said I need to come back for a physical next week (now the day after tomorrow.)
So, I have a potentially five year old ASC-US that has been paid little attention to, high-risk HPV, and a long history of menstrual troubles that have only been getting worse. I have appointments on Wednesday with my regular doctor (I assume for follow-up regarding the ASC-US and HPV) and an ultrasound of my abdomen/pelvic region.
I have done a lot of research lately and am no longer in the terrified "Oh lord, I've got cancer" stage, but all things considered, is this more serious than the typical "it'll clear itself up" approach? Obviously it hasn't "cleared up" if it's still there after five years.
I want to know:
Is my risk for cancer higher, given my history of irregular menses, pain, smoking (duh..), etc?
Should I be looking for a second opinion if she doesn't recommend a colposcopy?
Is there anyone else out there with similar doctor-horror stories? What did you do? (At least, it feels like a horror story to me; she's not the most attentive doctor and I occasionally kick myself for not switching to someone else.)
Thanks for reading - any insight would be most helpful. I have read a lot of related posts on here and can see this is a strong community of experienced people. Having no experience and little contact with anyone that does have insight, I could use some words of wisdom.
I wish I knew who I was before I was me.
Last edited by Administrator; 09-18-2012 at 12:03 AM.