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National Cervical Cancer Coalition


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 Post subject: Yeah a normal pap!
PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 12:14 pm 

Joined: Thu Oct 16, 2008 9:21 pm
Posts: 9
Just received my results from my 6 month follow up pap smear and it was normal!!
:D My doctor who came highly recommended to me gave me some info about HPV: she does not believe in the ping pong theory; she feels that some people clear it and some people supress it; and that cervical cancer especially in the US is a VERY rare outcome as long as you follow up.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 12:17 pm 
Site Admin

Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2006 4:08 pm
Posts: 2122
Location: North Carolina
Yay! Excellent, and thanks for giving us an update! :D

By the way, it sounds like you have a very smart doctor.


Thanks again,
Fredo

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 11:43 pm 

Joined: Thu May 29, 2008 10:01 pm
Posts: 89
I'm jealous! When that day comes for me, you know I will be shouting it from the roof tops.


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 Post subject: My First Pap - Normal?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2009 10:44 am 

Joined: Thu Oct 16, 2008 11:57 pm
Posts: 11
Hello, I haven't been on in a while but I got to thinking and this place has always cleared my head. ^.^
So, in October I went to a doctor on campus after I found some very small bumbs around my clitoris area and I was told I had HPV.
(I also had redness in that area, like irritation, she told me that it was something that usually happened when you're immune system was down or something and she gave me some meds and it went away.)
She said that she had a lot of experience with this sort of thing and she was very sure that HPV is what I had.
So, I decided to get my gw frozen off, and after two treatments, they went away. And have yet to come back.
(Though, I do get confused with the slight scarring that the treatments have left me with.)
Well, in December, I went home and got my first Pap Smear.
I was just WAITING for them to confirm my test to be abnormal.
(The doctor in my home town didn't really like that I had gotten treated for something that a pap smear had not confirmed yet. But I didn't even think about it, I just believed the other doctor and wanted the gw to be gone asap.)
And after a week, I called and they told me that it came out normal.
I know this is a good thing, but it got me so confused. I HAD HPV right?
I still do, don't I?
It just means that I'm not Physically showing it?
But if I'm normal now, what about next month? It's possible for that not to be the case, right?
It's just so frustrating.
Any advice is much appreciated! Thank you. :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2009 8:40 am 
Site Admin

Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2006 4:08 pm
Posts: 2122
Location: North Carolina
And after a week, I called and they told me that [the Pap test] came out normal. I know this is a good thing, but it got me so confused. I HAD HPV right? I still do, don't I? It just means that I'm not physically showing it?
But if I'm normal now, what about next month? It's possible for that not to be the case, right?


Hi Belaryn,

Good to chat with you again. Pap tests don't check directly for HPV, they just look for abnormal cell changes that occur with the cervix (and that sometimes are highly suggestive of HPV infection). Even if you have HPV, the Pap won't offer any indication of it unless you happen to also have cervical cell changes. Most women with HPV will never have an abnormal Pap test as a result.

Also, HPV is usually cleared by the immune system over time. This can happen fairly quickly - within a few months or so - or take a year or more in some cases. Regardless of exactly how long, the body usually rids itself of the virus.

I hope this helps. Post again anytime.

Fredo

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2009 4:21 pm 

Joined: Thu Oct 16, 2008 11:57 pm
Posts: 11
That really did help, now I can just cross my fingers and hope that my immune system is gonna keep gettin rid of this and be strong. :)
You have no idea how relieved I am on at least knowing the facts, thank you so much!
Have a good day, bye. :)


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 1:57 pm 

Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2009 9:49 am
Posts: 20
Dear Fredo,

I am confused. Does the body immune system clear the virus itself or the infection? I heard that the virus always remain in your body, but the body can clear the infection. Please clear this up for me.

Thank you,

Shegi


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2009 8:42 am 
Site Admin

Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2006 4:08 pm
Posts: 2122
Location: North Carolina
Hi Shegi,

There may always be some virus left, I don't know, but natural immunity is usually so effective with HPV that the virus becomes undetectable even with very sensitive DNA tests. So, for all practical purposes the virus is cleared.

Best,
Fredo

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2009 9:02 am 

Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2009 9:49 am
Posts: 20
Dear Fredo,

Thank you so much for responding to me so very quickly. I am a 46 year old woman with an eight year old boy who has Autism. My husband cheated with a woman who has HPV. Now, I have it, and I am devastated. I have been through a lot crap that my husband has dumped on me. I have not had an easy time raising our son. There has been some difficult times with the challenges that I have been through with our son. Now, I have this disease to bare. My plate is full, and I am weary, devastated, depressed, afraid to the point that I cannot function some days. I do not want to die away from my son. I want to live also for me.

As of yet, I do not know what strain I have. I went to get a second opinion because of how my first doctor handled me as a patience I lost trust in her. This doctor is waiting for the infection that I have in my vagina to clear before he does another pap smear. I pray that I am bless or lucky enough that my body clear the virus and the infection. This gives me hope. God bless you and this site.

Thank You,

Shegi


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 10:05 pm 

Joined: Fri Sep 12, 2008 10:46 pm
Posts: 132
For you all: I keep saying this over and over, but I suppose it just can't be said enough (even though I'm sure you all hate hearing this). HPV seems to be a poorly-understood virus even still; and its presentation and duration is an individualized experience for each person. Some people never even seem to SHOW the damn thing (my bf is so lucky...sigh), some show it months after exposure....some years.....some DECADES and then it freaks them out, understandably. Some people clear it rapidly, some in 1-2 years, some longer, some (frustratingly) deal with it for a long while. It's hard to say what HPV will do with you. I, personally, am hoping I just have the wart kind and not the cancer kind on top of it....I have a pap smear to go to in April, we'll see what happens.

As Sunset pointed out (and has been said in other threads) HPV is very very treatable as a cancer. As long as you have good routine health care and follow up, you should be fine. Even if a woman DOES have cervical cancer, if you are treated early YOU ARE NOT GOING TO DIE FROM IT. Death from cervical cancer happens if you never see a doctor or are so poor that you can't, such as in very poor countries.

Belaryn: Depending on what strains of HPV you have......you aren't going to show an abnormal pap smear. If you have ONLY the wart causing kind (principally HPV 6 and 11) you'll never have an abnormal pap smear...but you will have warts. Pap smears are made to detect abnormal cellular changes that occur with oncogenic (cancer causing) strains; mainly HPV 16 and 18. For example, I personally (so far, I think I only harbor wart causing HPV) have normal Pap smears. But I've had GW. Wart causing strains are not oncogenic: you will not get cancer from having these types.

Shegi: Oh, how hotly debated it is if HPV is actually CLEARED/ELIMINATED or not. Some people say that the virus is just suppressed to inactive levels. Others will say that your body actually rids itself of the virus. I'm not certain what actually happens, but generally the body will suppress HPV to the point that you don't notice problems from it anymore. For warts, after successful treatment they shouldn't come back...or if they do, it would be very seldom barring something that causes particular stress---for women, this would be pregnancy. And if you have high grade/cancer causing HPV----THIS WILL NOT KILL YOU. Just make sure you get thee to the doctor regularly and get any treatment needed---you will be fine! :D You'll be there for your son, don't you worry.

Please keep us all updated to what's going on/how you're doing, and fire away any Qs that you need!


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