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National Cervical Cancer Coalition

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 5:25 pm 

Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2009 9:49 am
Posts: 20
Dear Staff and Members,

I have posted twice today, but my panic attacks are increasing. I am scared and devastated. Please respond to me. Shegi

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 9:03 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 16, 2008 2:50 am
Posts: 109
Hi Shegi. The way that I understand it is that your body's immune system fights the virus so that it is to undetectable levels. In most cases, the body does this within 2 yrs on it's own. In the cases where HPV is detected and there is a concern, the doctor may request a colposcopy/biopsy to determine what level of abnormal cell changes have occurred and whether they can do a wait and see approach or require a proactive surgery to be performed.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 2:46 pm 

Joined: Thu Mar 26, 2009 2:33 pm
Posts: 1
Hi. I'm 47 and was just recently diagnosed as well, and saw my Dr. on Monday for a follow up. I've spent a lot of time reading the asha website, which is really helpful and reassuring. If you haven't done that yet, I really highly recommend it.

But basically the other post is correct. Generally the body fights it off. Most forms (of which there are 100s) are not cancer-producing, and as long as you get regular pap smears and follow up with your doctor, even if you have the cancer-forming kind, it takes years to develop and they can treat it before it ever gets to that stage. It's *highly* treatable.

I know the first thing my doc said to me on the phone is that I had an abnormal pap smear, but that I did not have cancer. I needn't be thinking "it's been a good life..."

Probably a good idea to talk to your doctor again. But the bottom line is that it is highly treatable.

Hope that helps.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 9:28 pm 

Joined: Fri Sep 12, 2008 10:46 pm
Posts: 132
Hello to you all! Shegi and the others: I'm going to assume that you're talking about the "high-risk" strains of HPV (the cancer causing types) since the "low grade" kinds (that cause warts) are not other words, these do not change into cancer problems but are indeed unsightly and embarrassing (this is the type I'm carrying around for sure, I'm due for another Pap smear soon).

Even if you have high risk HPV, I give you a big hug and say: DON'T WORRY! The thing about the "cancer causing" HPV is that it's only a problem if you don't receive routine medical care. In the US, cervical cancer has dropped significantly as a danger to women----it's just in other countries (poorer ones) where women do not receive the same standard of health care that this type of HPV is a real threat.

As long as all of you go in for regular Pap smears and consultations with your doctor, you should be just fine :) It will be necessary to go in at least 1-2 a year to your gyn to make sure everything's going ok or to receive any additional treatment that is necessary, such as the LEEP procedure that removes any cancer in situ. KEEP IN MIND: If this happens at early stages this is still OK!!! As long as you keep up treatment, and the cancer does not invade into deeper tissues, if you blast away the surface cancer you're still going to be all right. You just need to make sure that you're on top of your health care.

I'm in med school right now myself, and I'm going over pathology; my current teacher says that, if every woman had a pap smear every 1-2 years, and was appropriately treated, no one would ever die of cervical cancer ever again :) As was pointed out, this is a HIGHLY treatable disease.

I know that in the beginning you may feel very overwhelmed (I know how it feels) but in time you should sort things out. Things will be A-OK! Please feel free to check in and let us know how you're doing, or to ask more questions if you need to.

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