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National Cervical Cancer Coalition

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2007 2:22 pm 

Joined: Sat Jan 06, 2007 12:14 am
Posts: 7
Location: Texas
I just received my Pap Smear/HPV results. Unfortunately, they came back HPV positive with ASC-US.

I couldn't help but go to the Internet and some of the information is frightening.

I am wondering if these results show what my HPV status is or if I will have to have further testing to determine this?

I am already having extreme difficulty dealing with the HPV diagnosis alone, but am also concerned about my risk of having some complications that may lead to cervical cancer.

Thanks in advance for your response.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2007 10:27 am 
Site Admin

Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2006 4:08 pm
Posts: 2122
Location: North Carolina
Hi there and welcome to our message boards. I'm glad you found us.

A Pap test is not a specific means of checking for HPV itself (Paps look for abnormal cervical cell changes). An ASC-US result essentially means there are some abnormal cells present, yes, but it really isn't clear at all just what might be causing them - could be anything from HPV to yeast or recent tampon use or intercourse, perhaps even some mishandling of the preperation of the sample. In other words, who knows?

To sort this out sometimes a repeat Pap is done or a specific HPV DNA test can be used - this is a means of checking directly for the genetic material of HPV. The way your post is worded it sounds as if you may have in fact had an HPV test done but if it isn't clear just what type of testing was done for you, ask your health care provider to explain.

ASC-US Paps are rarely positive for cervical cancer, and in fact cervical cancer is a pretty uncommon outcome of "high risk" HPV infection across the board.

Researchers and physicians believe that the majority of cases of cervical cell changes associated with HPV can be treated before the infection has time to progress to cervical cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute, about half of women with newly diagnosed cervical cancer have never had a Pap smear. And another 10% have not had a Pap smear in the past five years (where the virus has had time to progress to cervical cancer). Because cell division is an ongoing process, cervical cancer does not develop overnight. Keep in mind that most cases of mild cervical cell changes resolve on their own. The most important issue is to continue to have your follow-up visits with your health care provider.

Go to, another post on this board, to read our recent discussion on the emotional aspects of HPV. For many, this is the hardest part of all, we know, but there are some things you can do to cope. We're here to help, so know you aren't alone.

I hope this does help, and let us know if you have more questions.


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