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National Cervical Cancer Coalition


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 Post subject: Scared
PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2007 2:18 am 

Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2007 1:58 am
Posts: 29
Earlier today I found out that I have HPV. I am not sure about which strain, but I am pretty sure it is the high risk one. My boyfriend of 2 years found out that his Ex was recently diagnosed with cervical cancer, so the mystery is solved. I am so scared, I don't even know what to do. I read a lot of information online, and feel a bit more relieved. I know that I caught it in time. The doctor said my cells are normal. My first pap smear came back ASCUS. This leads to my question does a papsmear of ASCUS mean that HPV is progressing quickly? Does it mean that I have HIV? I really don't have anyone to talk to. I haven't told any of my friends. I feel angry, ashamed, and helpless. If anyone can please answer my question and maybe give me some advice, I will greatly apreceiate it.
Thank you for taking the time to read this.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2007 10:04 am 

Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2007 2:43 pm
Posts: 405
ASCUS is usually seen as a mild abnormal change in the pap smear that could be linked to irritation of the cervical wall or some abnormal cells have been found.This doesn't mean you have HIV. HIV is usually found in blood testing not pap testing. Many women may have an ASCUS diagnosis but never go on to develop cervical cancer. You caught it early . By getting normal pap smears and following your doctor's orders, this should work out fine.

ASCUS basically is saying, Cell are pretty normal but let's keep an eye on things. Just to break is down in easy term.Some things that can lead to this reading are vaginitis, HPV,cervical inflammation and any other ailments of the vagina.

Perfect example, my best friend recently had this same diagnosis. She had bacterial vaginosis which threw her pap way off. When the doctor treated the BV and repeated the test , she was fine. So just work with your doctor. You may have to do a repeat pap but avoid sexual activity until you get a normal reading. ALso for future reference and just an FYI. Do not douche,have sex, or use tampons within 48 hours of a scheduled pap smear. These can give an ASCUS result as well.

If there are any other questions sweetie, don't hesitate to ask :D


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 Post subject: Thanks
PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2007 1:53 pm 

Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2007 1:58 am
Posts: 29
I do feel better that it has not progressed and that it is only the begining stage. I just wonder why his ex who is only 27 got cervical cancer. She has two kids, could that be the reason? I just hope she didn't have any other STD that made the HPV progress. This is so nerver wracking. I know I shouldn't be angry at him because he had no way of knowing, but I have only been with 2 people in my entire life and have always been so careful. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

:\


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2007 2:24 pm 

Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2007 1:58 am
Posts: 29
oh an also, most of the posts talk about HPV with a strain that causes genital warts, what about the other kind, that doesn't cause any warts (the high risk). Is it also contagious by skin to skin contact or not?

Thank you so much!!! I can't believe how helpful this forum is, I am so glad I found it. Thank you!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2007 2:37 pm 

Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2007 1:58 am
Posts: 29
oh an also, most of the posts talk about HPV with a strain that causes genital warts, what about the other kind, that doesn't cause any warts (the high risk). Is it also contagious by skin to skin contact or not?

Thank you so much!!! I can't believe how helpful this forum is, I am so glad I found it. Thank you!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2007 3:32 pm 

Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2007 2:43 pm
Posts: 405
From what has been studied all forms of HPV can be contracted by skin to skin contact. His ex may not have gone for routine pap smears or may have only been give the conventional pap smear. The conventional paps don't give an accurate account of HPV. Newer pap smears such as THIN PREP can actually detect HPV or abnormal cells 50-70% higher than conventional pap smears alone.

Childbirth is a strain on the body and without her getting proper treatment before she got pregnant could have aggravated the condition. Also putting off treatment that has been suggessted by your doctor can aggravate the issue as well.

True HPV is frustrating . All of the "vets" here have gone through exactly what you are feeling but it will get better. By getting the proper treatments, things will get better. Just keep hanging in there little DIVA and we will try to get you through this!!!! Whenever you have a question just ask and we will all be here to help. Our moderator Fredo is great great great!!!!!!!! Fredo may also chime in on your condition so be on the lookout for some awesome information. :D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2007 4:50 pm 

Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2007 1:58 am
Posts: 29
Thank you so much for this information. I have another question though: They say that the body can fight off the virus, but would it still show up if you were to get tested for HPV or would it completely disappear. I am wondering because my second pap smear, I think, showed normal cells, but the HPV test itself indicated that I was positive. My doctor didn't talk to me about this at all. When I called for my results, I got the receptionist, and she was the one who broke the news. All she said to me was that I was positive, and there is no treatment, and that they can't do anything about it, I will just have to have annual pap smears.

thanks again.=)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2007 5:47 pm 

Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2007 2:43 pm
Posts: 405
Talk to your doctor or his nurse directly. The receptionist should not give you any advice on this level. If your second pap showed normal, then that means no cervical changes are present. However if you have an abnormal pap, there are treatment options available. Many people on this board have been through them including myself. True you tested positive for a high strain of HPV but if it isn't causing any cervical changes then your immune system has it pretty much under control.

As long as your pap smears are showing normal then don't worry too much and have your regular paps yearly. Also , just my two cents, if you can't get in contact with your doctor to talk about your results, I suggest you find a new doctor who can discuss results with his or her patients in their office. You should always have access to your doctor to schedule an appointment to talk to them. The receptionsit should not give advice on your medical condition. Only the doctor or NP should do that.

The good thing is that you are staying on top of your health and by doing that you will avoid developing cervical cancer.

RECAP:

If your second pap is normal then no cervical changes are present and there is no need for treatment. You still carry the high risk strain of HPV because well a virus is a virus but from the sound of what you are saying, your immune system has got it under control.

Here's a website that has helped me oput and countless others on the board:

www.thehpvtest.com
www.maketheconnection.org

Here you can find helpful information, faqs, contact information on HPV as well as stories of awesome gals who have defeated HPV .

Hang in there buttercup and if your second pap was normal , then breathe a sigh of relief. As always if any questions come to mind, ask away!!! :D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2007 7:05 pm 

Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2007 1:58 am
Posts: 29
Isis thank you so much for all your help. I am just going to take it one day at a time. I can't let this consume me. I am going to be strong for myself and others around me. I'm not going to blame anyone for this. It's just a little hard not being able to talk to anyone about this. My boyfriend is going to be gone for another 2 weeks, and he doesn't even know my diagnosis yet. All he knows is that my first pap smear results were abnormal. I just hope he doesn't blame himself either when he finds out.

Thank you!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2007 7:13 pm 

Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2007 2:43 pm
Posts: 405
I know it's tough but keep in mind, HPV is extremely common and most people who are sually acitve have already come into contact with HPV. They just don't know it. Just get thefacts of HPV and have a talk with your boyfriend when you feel up to it. Your sex life is not over by no means and it's not your fault or his fault, It's just something that happens. You did the right thing catching it early. You can still have children and like I stated before, when something shows up abnorma, ask about treatment options.Ask questions to the doctor also. It's your body and you have a right to know. SO , check out the sites and try to enjoy the rest of the weekend. ALso as always, any questions come to mind just ask. :D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2007 8:40 pm 

Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2007 1:58 am
Posts: 29
I was browsing the internet today trying to find more stuff on HPV and came across Beta-mannan Supplement. Does anyone know if they really work?

Thanks


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2007 8:34 am 
Site Admin

Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2006 4:08 pm
Posts: 2122
Location: North Carolina
Google wrote:
Quote:
They say that the body can fight off the virus, but would it still show up if you were to get tested for HPV or would it completely disappear. I am wondering because my second pap smear, I think, showed normal cells, but the HPV test itself indicated that I was positive. My doctor didn't talk to me about this at all. When I called for my results, I got the receptionist, and she was the one who broke the news. All she said to me was that I was positive, and there is no treatment, and that they can't do anything about it, I will just have to have annual pap smears.


Hi Google,

You've been having a good conversation with Isis so I'll just jump in briefly. Even when abnormal cervical cells are gone (whether through treatment or because the body resolved then naturally) there can still be enough HPV present for an HPV DNA test to pick up. Over time, what usually happens is that the immune system clears/suppresses HPV well enough so that even HPV DNA tests eventually are negative. There's no set time in which this will happen, though, and some few cases do persist. For most, though, the body's own defenses gets the upper hand so that long-term issues with HPV are not typical. It's just important to keep going for follow up exams/Paps as directed.

There is no medical cure for HPV, and no supplements that are part of any standard treatment guidelines of which we're aware. We strongly urge you to consult your healthcare provider or pharmacist before using any HPV-related product you are able to buy without a prescription.

Hope this helps,
Fredo

_________________
ASHA Moderator


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2007 4:09 pm 

Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2007 1:58 am
Posts: 29
Another question: How soon after you get the virus does it become active in your body (like showing up on the HPV) test. Like I said, I have been with my bf for 2 years now, and it is most likely that I got this from him. Does it mean that HPV has been in my body for 2 years, and if so why is it not clearing up? So frustrating :roll:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2007 5:34 pm 

Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2007 1:58 am
Posts: 29
I'm sorry for asking all these questions, but I came up with another one. All the receptionist told me was that my cells are normal but it was positive for HPV. I asked what strand of HPV, and she said it doesn't say. Do these test really not tell you which HPV you have? and If you test positive for HPV on your pap smear is it automatically considered a high risk one?

Thank you all for your help at this very difficult time! :oops:


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 Post subject: some answers
PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2007 9:05 am 

Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2007 11:44 am
Posts: 65
Location: Missouri
Hi, google. Don't apologize for asking questions. It's only natural to wonder how you got any new infection, any disease, or any condition, to wonder how long you've had it, how to treat it, etc. We worry even more about something sexually transmitted because of the taboo society has on sexually transmitted infections. From what I've learned from reading this board and a little of my own research mostly through ASHA and the CDC, despite HPV being so extremely common (the CDC says that an estimated 80% of women will contract genital HPV at some point in their lives by age 50), relatively little long-term research has been done on the virus.

We can't know when you contracted (or "caught") the virus. It's possible that you contracted it at the first time you had sex, or it could have been a month or two before the Pap smear. Sometimes the virus lays "dormant" in the body, meaning that it shows no signs. This is the case for you. You are positive for HPV, but your immune system is keeping it under control right now, so it hasn't caused any changes to your cervix yet.

Unfortunately, the common test for HPV DNA tests for several strains (I don't know the exact number, but it is somewhere along the lines of 10 or 13 of the most common strains that cause cervical changes), but it can only come back positive or negative. That means that if you are positive, there isn't a way of being able to tell exactly which strain you have. There is something called polymerase chain reactions, or PCR testing, but it is so extremely expensive that it is generally only found in clinical trials and not in any regular doctors' offices.

The good news is that you were tested for HPV. The CDC, American Cancer Society, and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), the three big-wigs in the cervical cancer industry, recommend starting to test for HPV with the Pap smear beginning at age 30. This is because younger women come into contact with the virus so frequently, but it's usually strains that are taken care of by the immune system before disease can progress, so finding a positive HPV in someone under age 30 would be extremely common and could cause undo fear in these women.

You are lucky that the virus has not caused an abnormal Pap. That either means that it won't, i.e. you'll have this virus but it will lay dormant and never cause any changes in your cells, or that you may be at risk for developing cellular changes in the future.

The best way to protect yourself, and this goes for anyone who has or has not already been diagnosed with HPV, is to boost your immune system. You can do this by keeping your stress levels low, exercising, sleeping a minimum of 7-8 hours per day, eating a well-balanced diet including the minimum requirements of fruits and vegetables, taking a daily multivitamin, avoid alcohol, and STAY AWAY from tobacco products. If you are already a smoker, one way you deal with stress is likely smoking a cigarette, so quitting smoking can cause more stress initially, but the long term benefits outweigh the risks of the immediate stress you'll feel during quitting that that shouldn't even cross your mind.

In summary, you are in a good place right now as far as HPV goes. You have signs that you have the virus, but it hasn't yet caused any abnormalities in your body. Follow the above suggestions and whatever else your healthcare provider recommends, and hopefully, it'll stay that way. Even if the HPV does lead to eventual changes, keeping your immune system healthy is the best way to lead to a quicker recovery.

Good luck and continue to ask questions!


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