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National Cervical Cancer Coalition

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 Post subject: 2nd LEEP..
PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2007 9:05 am 

Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2007 1:37 am
Posts: 2
Hello, I'm new to your forum, but glad to find a place to share some thoughts and fears. I'm quite upset right now, and very worried. I just had my second LEEP procedure yesterday morning, my first one was two years ago, when I first found I had HPV and after a colposcopy, severe cervical dysplasia and what 'appeared to be 'hi-risk III'. Not long after the procedure, I left to study abroad in Indonesia, in which I've been for the past two years. Unfortunately, it's difficult to find a good doctor in Indonesia who can do a colposcopy, which I was required to do four months after my LEEP as a follow-up. Because of this, I only had a pap smear, which at first came out as clear with no problem, no sign of HPV or anything, so I thought I didn't have to worry. I have always been very good about getting pap smears, which since I was still worried I got probably too many of, some at three months a time. The last two times, I was told there was some irregularity in there, and to get checked up again in three months. The second time of this, I started to worry, and decided to come to Singapore to get a colposcopy and make sure. Which is where I am now. I found a very good OBS-GYn, who did the colposcopy and found that the cells had gone back, quite badly. He suggested I get the LEEP again, which he did yesterday, at the same time as doing a biopsy, which he prefers to do all at once so that it's not as traumatizing (I was put to sleep this time, much better than the first.) I'm still waiting for the results of the biopsy, and of course, feel nearly paralized in fear. In the beginning I guess I didn't realize just how serious it could be. I know it takes years apparently for cancerous cells to grow, but I'm high-grade, so that makes it more likely. I'm terrified that I have cancer, I can't get the thought out of my head. I can't stop going over the regrets of not being checked up more quickly, of smoking an occasional cigarette while in Indonesia, of not realizing more seriously the danger this has to my health. Is it very likely that I could have cancer? What can I do? I don't want to have LEEPs for the rest of my life, which is the most invasive, unpleasant experience. I want to be able to have a child, and have a normal sexual relationship with my boyfriend, who I love very much. And I don't want to have cancer. I'm only 26! Please, all I'm looking for are some words of advice, perhaps encouragement, and also an honest opinion about my situation. I'm going tomorrow again to the doctor for a check-up, I'm hoping for the best. I'm also interested to learn more about alternative remedies for this kind of thing, besides taking the cells off that have already grown, what can I do to work at preventing them from coming again? Thanks for listening, and providing a place to share thoughts with other women who are going through the same thing.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2007 11:03 am 
Site Admin

Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2006 4:08 pm
Posts: 2122
Location: North Carolina
Hello ejavanica,

Thanks for your post and I'm glad you joined us on the message board. Feeling afraid and uncertain is not at all uncommon, and understandably so! We can't assess your specific situation, but we can tell you that cervical cancer is not a common outcome of HPV infection. When cervical cancers do develop, you're correct in that it tends to do so slowly over many years and non-invasive cervical cancers (which you'll often see referred to as Carcinoma In Situ) are usually completely treatable and cureable.

Cervical abnormalities do return in some cases, and this is not unusual, but over time the immune system usually is able to suppress HPV so that lesions don't keep recurring indefinitly, over and over. It doesn't always work so neatly, of course, but will in most cases. The important thing is to continue going for follow up exams as directed.

We have some discussions on this board on other topics mentioned in your post:

LEEP and pregnancy:

Nutrition, lifestyle, and cervical health: ... folic+acid

I hope this helps, and that you'll keep us updated and post again.

All the best,

ASHA Moderator

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2007 8:46 pm 

Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2007 1:37 am
Posts: 2
Thanks so much for your reply, I appreciate it. The most important and challenging thing in this situation is to stay calm and not automatically think of the worst. It's good to know that there are positive outlooks on it, and it's not common to have something serious. One of the things that did make me worried is something the doctor said when he first looked at my cervix, which was that I should consider having a baby early because I could lose my womb and many women die from that! Scared me! But after that I think perhaps he realized that he had said the wrong thing and was more encouraging, saying they're just taking off the results of the HPV virus and nothing more. Confusing! I guess the most confusing thing is just the uncertainty of it all. But my mother said something encouraging, which was that I should think of all the hundreds of women who are going through this every day, and how strong women are and the power there is in numbers. At least we're not alone. Thank you for your encouragement, and I'll check out the information on the websites you sent.

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