The purpose of my post is in an effort to help those who are experiencing anxiety from a HPV / CIN diagnosis.
My wife was diagnosed with CIN 2, about two years ago, she decided to Ã¢â‚¬Å“wait and watchÃ¢â‚¬Â; thankfully since then she has had 3 negative / clear paps and tested negative for HPV. Originally I was over come with anxiety about her health and it really affected my well being. This forum was so helpful to get great information on HPV and really put the risk of cancer from HPV into perspective.
I wanted to try to give back by sharing the information I compiled that might help those with high anxiety to really not be as stressed about HPV leading to cancer as I originally was. DonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t get me wrong I am in no way saying ignore any HPV / CIN diagnosis but rather try to lower anyoneÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s high anxiety over it. Personally the way I looked at it was if we are doing what the doctors says and following up with our appointments there is really no reason in this day in age should a CIN / HPV lead to cervical cancer.
About 55 million Pap tests are performed each year in the United States. Of these, approximately 3.5 million (6 percent) are abnormal and require medical follow-up.
Keep in mind only about 12,000 women a year are diagnosed with cervical cancer. Of that 12,000; 50% have never had a pap before in there life and about another 10-15% have not had a pap within the past 5 years. So if you had an abnormal pap and worried about getting cancer keep in mind only 0.003% will progress to cancer form an abnormal pap.
It normally takes about 10-15 years for cervical dysplasia to progress to cancer if it does. So if you go for annual PAPS and go to any required follow up testing you will be able to treat cin before it ever turns to cancer. This is not something that normally progresses so quickly you can not treat it.
Also there is no need to get overly stressed like I did over my wife and doctor electing to Ã¢â‚¬Å“watchingÃ¢â‚¬Â of your dysplasia if your doctor recommends this instead of surgery.
Progression rates I have seen reported from reliable sources are as follows;
-less than 1% of cin 1 cases will lead to cancer if left untreated
-about 5% of cin 2 cases will lead to cancer if left untreated
-about 12-15% of cin 3 cases if left untreated will lead to cancer.
These statistics mean that if you had even cin 3 and never did anything about (not recommended) you still have a very good chance of never developing cancer from it. Fredo is correct from my research cancer form HPV is extremely rare.
Clearance Rates of HPV
"Studies have shown that 70% of new HPV infections clear within one year, as many as 91% clear within two years. The median duration of new infections is typically eight months. HPV-16 is more likely to persist than other HPV types; however most HPV-16 infections become undetecable within two years. The gradual development of an effective immune response is thought to be the likely mechanism for HPV DNA clearance."
Source: CDC 2004 Report to Congress on Prevention of HPV
"The average duration of HPV infection was eight months. Repeated HPV DNA testing showed that seventy percent of the women cleared their HPV infections within one year through the natural immune process, and only nine percent continued to be infected after two years. Another study conducted in Sweden supported these findings, with a five-year clearance rate of 92 percent"
"Most people (up to 90%) who test positive for HPV with very sensitive tests for HPV (polymerase chain reaction [PCR] and Hybrid CaptureÃ‚Â® II) will become HPV negative on the same tests within 6-24 months from first testing positive. This is due to an effective immune response to HPV."
Source: Human Papillomavirus and Cervical Cancer Quick Reference For Clinicians - http://www.arhp.org
"In almost all cases, the immune system will keep the HPV virus (including the cancer-related HPV types) under control or get rid of it completely."
Source: HPV Resource Center - http://www.ashastd.org
Cervical Dysplasia, even severe, should be considered pre-cancerous but not cancer. It is important to realize dysplasia is limited to the "skin" of the cervix, and has not invaded into the underlying tissue. Without treatment however, severe cervical dysplasia is much more likely than CIN 1 dysplasia to develop into cervical cancer. This is a long, slow, process taking 10-20 years for severe dysplasia to progress to invasive cancer. It is extremely uncommon for dysplasia to progress to cancer if it is properly treated and you have regular follow up exams.
Go for annual PAPS, do what your doctor tells you, and relax; if you do this you should not get worried about HPV, thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s IF you do that.
I hope this help lower someoneÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s anxiety over HPV.