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National Cervical Cancer Coalition

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 Post subject: totally lost
PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2007 10:00 am 

Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2007 9:46 am
Posts: 1
If you have a pap and it comes back normal but you have hpv do you need to worry? I have had hpv for 15 years and my pap has always came back fine- I only knew I had hpv because of the cervical warts which were froze off. But i guess my main question is do you have to worry if the pap is normal or only after the first abnormal pap? I wasnt concerned after my gyn told me he froze them but recently i developed a "growth." The growth was removed from the cervix and was not cancerous. I guess I'm not clear on whether I need to worry about the cervical cancer. Can you clarify please?Also my doctor ran a blood test for cancer that came back negative- I think it was called a c125 or something like that- would that include cervical cancer? And one last thing, I'm not sure if I understood the doctor but he seems to say I will always have hpv even if I dont ever get symptoms or have any problems it will always be there cause its in my cells or blood or something. My obgyn also said that the only cause of cervical cancer is HPV and therefore 100% preventable if you dont contact HPV and is perhaps why not alot is done because it is a STD. The more I read the more scared I get that it is just a matter of time before cervical cancer develops- hope you have words of comfort!

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2007 12:15 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 7:48 pm
Posts: 75
I wouldn't worry too much about it. From what I've read, it's rare that "high-risk" HPV will ever lead to cervical cancer. Especially if you keep up on your regular paps. That way, if anything changes at all, your dr can take the appropriate action they will deem necessary. I really wouldn't worry too much about it. Just keep up with your visits, which you seem to be doing. Now, I don't know whether you were diagnosed with "high-risk" or "low-risk" hpv...if you know at all. Now, "low-risk" hpv is the type that usually causes external genitals warts. It can also cause mild abnormal pap test results as well. Like warts on the cervix. "Low-risk" is extremely rare when it comes to cervical cancer. Like Fredo would say, hence why it's called "low-risk". "High-risk" is usually the one that's been found in many cervical cancer cases. HOWEVER, again, it's rare that when diagnosed, it will be the eventual outcome. I hear of many, many cases where people's body will eventually repair the cervix. Many people will rarely have it come back if at all. Then there are some people who will deal with it off and on through their life for whatever reason. Same goes for those with the genital warts type of the virus.

As for clearance of HPV, from what I've read, dr's/medical experts have varying opinions on it. Some will say, after a certain amount of time, if you no longer show signs (whether it be warts and/or dysplasia), then it's safe to say you no longer carry the virus. Then you'll have others who'll state that's not necessarily true. That your immune system can fight the virus off, causing symptoms to disappear, sure. However, that it can still be in your system dormant. That it is possible, for whatever reason (be it due to stress, illness, change in your body, etc.), it can come back. I've heard a lot of people compare it to like a flu virus. Your immune system eventually fights that off, and you will be fine. That doesn't mean, however, that you can't get the flu again. I'm sure I'm not saying that exactly right, so don't quote me on it.

From the sounds of it, you're doing what you should be doing. Your paps are coming out good, so I wouldn't sweat it. Best thing you can do is just to alter your lifestyle a little healthier, if you don't already. Taking vitamins, changing your diet, exercising (even if it's just walking), working to lower your stress levels, getting a goodnight's sleep, and so forth. If you smoke, look towards quitting NOW. It's your biggest enemy in the fight to get and stay healthy, and fight the virus into remission. If you haven't already, you can always see if you can get an HPV test to see if it's currently active in your system. There's a low-risk and high-risk panel, I believe. You can see if they can run both. Once I beat my dysplasia down, I want to have them retest me to see if the HPV is still active in me. If not, then I'm going to see if they can do it at the same time I have my paps (when I get back to having paps once a year again). I think I've read that they suggest HPV testing every three years, or something, if you're last test is negative. However, I'd like to know sooner then three years how I'm doing. Anyway, try not to sweat it to much. Sounds like you're doing really well! This virus isn't going to be your demise. Just keep up on your visits, and if you have any concerns, you can always contact your dr's office for a visit. Goodluck! :)

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 8:28 am 
Site Admin

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

If you've yet to check out the thread on "long-term infectivity" you might benefit from reading it:

There is no medical cure for viral infections (such as HPV) but with many of them, the immune system is able to clear/suppress the infection over time, and that's what seems to happen in most cases with HPV.

Hope this helps,

ASHA Moderator

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