General chatter - Has anyone had an abnormal pap smear?




Sheila53
12-15-2006, 09:26 PM
My 23-year old daughter was just informed that she had an abnormal pap smear. The doctor called her to give her the news, and he wanted her to come back in to get 'scoped'. Since she just moved to the Caribbean, that's impossible. She also doesn't have insurance yet, and isn't sure whether the insurance she's getting will consider pre-existing conditions.

I remember having one abnormal smear when I was young, but I got checked again six months later and was fine. In her case, the doctor suggested 'scoping', not waiting and re-testing. The only reason I can think that he wanted her to have the procedure is because she was diagnosed with HPV in 2003. The doctor then didn't check her cervix, but scraped some external bumps.

Anyone familiar with abnormal pap smears, HPV, the scoping procedure, etc.? Reassure this worried mom!


buckettgirl
12-15-2006, 11:21 PM
Without looking up info in my textbooks, I can tell you that you need to encourage your daughter to have this taken care of and follow the advice of her doctor.
If she has had HPV and had an abnormal pap in the past, then she needs to follow-through with this. Although a colposcopy and possibly a LEEP procedure may be costly, especially without insurance, but it is better than developing cervical cancer and all the costs that go with it.
Many times an abnormal pap doesn't mean anything, but given her history, it is better to be safe than sorry.
Here is a link about abnormal pap results and how to interpret them. You can find other information about HPV, cervical cancer, procedures, etc. http://www.estronaut.com/a/pap_smear_results_interpretation.htm Just be sure to inform yourself and your daughter about all this.

toofatforu
12-15-2006, 11:43 PM
she does need to get it checked out soon. i never did pap smears and ended up with cervical cancer.please have her seen about as soon as possible!


freiamaya
12-16-2006, 01:07 AM
My SIL had an abnormal pap, and it was cervical cancer. It was completely removed and this completely cured it. Don't delay until it is too late - take out a loan if you have to, just get it dealt with before it becomes too difficulty to easily deal with.

andrea464
12-16-2006, 01:12 AM
I was 19 when I had an abnormal pap. The day before Thanksgiving, they did the colpscopy (spelling?). I was also dx with HPV (which is a whole lot more common than people realize).
Two Aleve handled my pain from the procedure, and the pain was mostly abdominal cramping (similar to period cramps). They set up like a pap smear- applied a solution to my cervix which made the abnormal cells "glow" in a certain light. Those cells were then removed. I cramped a little bit after those cells were removed, and that was it.
I had follow up pap's after that (and they checked the cells that were removed for cancerous cells, none were cancerous). Once I had several clear pap's, I returned to yearly pap smears.
HTH, feel free to PM me for anymore questions/concerns.

jules1216
12-16-2006, 08:45 AM
My first pap smear after I had my son at 19 was abnormal--I freaked, his Dad had given me a choice when I told him I was pregnant (I choose my son) so I was a single mother--my mom kept telling me everything would be okay and thankfully it was.

I hope your daughter will be okay.

rockinrobin
12-16-2006, 09:25 AM
No Sheila, I have not. I do think she should be looked at sooner rather then later, if nothing else for your peace of mind alone. But keep in mind these things rarely turn out to be anything serious. I will be keeping you both in my thoughts and I very much hope this turns out to be a false alarm. :hug:

Clydegirl
12-16-2006, 10:14 AM
I had one after my oldest was born. They said it was moderate dysplasia. I had a colposcopy and cryo to the cervix. They did routine paps at 3 months and 6 months.Everything is fine now.

She should have it checked. Good luck hope everything turns out OK.

Wolfena
12-16-2006, 10:29 AM
Yes, I had an abnormal one a few years back. I had to go get rechecked every few months for almost 2 years, and all was well.

By the end of my 2 years they had improved however they did their tests, and said I no longer needed to come back so often, as I was fine.

Lots of people have abnormal paps - don't panic unless the doctor tells you there's a REAL problem.

:)

midwife
12-16-2006, 12:12 PM
It depends on the pap. ASCUS? LGSIL? HGSIL? There is a wide range of possible results. There are many types of HPV. Just cause she had warts does not mean she has the kind of HPV that causes cancer. I am guessing she either has LGSIL (low-grade), HGSIL (high-grade) or ASCUS (minor changes) but did test positive for a cancer-causing HPV. She needs more details about the diagnosis and she should ask her doc how urgent it is that she have the colposcopy. Without more info, it is too hard for me to say.

Is this her first abnormal pap?

If she smokes, she needs to stop. Yesterday.

I have no idea about the public health resources in the Carribean, but she could call around to different clinics and see how much it costs out of pocket. Here, cash for a colposcopy is about $250, but then more if there are biopsies or treatment.

This is a good time for a public service announcement. If you are between the ages of 9 and 25, talk to your provider about being vaccinated against HPV.

There are 4 big bad kinds of cancer causing HPV...even if your daughter has one or two (which I am guessing she does), the vaccine could prevent the third or fourth.

If she can get a more specific diagnosis, I could comment more specifically, but I am also guessing that paying out of pocket won't be as horrible as you think it might be...certainly cheaper than carcinoma-in-situ down the road (full blown cancer).

Good luck to you both.

csoar2004
12-16-2006, 06:26 PM
Ditto everything midwife said! ;)

zoritsa
12-16-2006, 06:46 PM
I had one after my oldest was born. They said it was moderate dysplasia. I had a colposcopy and cryo to the cervix. They did routine paps at 3 months and 6 months.Everything is fine now.

She should have it checked. Good luck hope everything turns out OK.

I went through the same after I had my son.I also didn't have any insurance and after having hospital and Dr. bills from my sons's birth,I was strapped for cash.My Dr. was wonderful though and worked with me on a payment plan.And with having cryo done in the office,the price wasn't as daunting as I feared.It was also a fairly simple procedure and I was back to work shortly after.Best for her to get it checked out.

YodaGirl
12-17-2006, 12:58 AM
This is a good time for a public service announcement. If you are between the ages of 9 and 25, talk to your provider about being vaccinated against HPV.

There are 4 big bad kinds of cancer causing HPV...even if your daughter has one or two (which I am guessing she does), the vaccine could prevent the third or fourth.

If she can get a more specific diagnosis, I could comment more specifically, but I am also guessing that paying out of pocket won't be as horrible as you think it might be...certainly cheaper than carcinoma-in-situ down the road (full blown cancer).

Good luck to you both.

I had asked my gyno about the HPV virus and they would not provide it for anyone who had already been diagnosed with HPV. They also didn't recommend it for anyone who was over a certain age (I think it was 25 or 30) due to the likelihood of having been exposed even though they may be currently showing as clear. I don't know the reasoning behind it, and was wondering if Midwife did. :)

Mummy_Tummy
12-17-2006, 03:58 AM
Midwife, I have a queston for you, as well. This has puzzled me for years and I've never gotten a satisfactory answer. I was diagnosed with HPV back...oh 12 years ago? But on the day I was due my colposcopy, I found out I was pregnant with my son. Doc didn't do the procedure but just kept a close eye on it and apparently the trauma of birth was enough to shed the cells for me and I didn't need the procedure after all.

My question is this, however...HPV is sexually transmitted. I get that. What I don't get is is it something the man picks up (like chlamydia or something) and then pases to the woman or is it just that the sex act itself can cause dysplasia? My impression is that it's not an STD per se so much as just sex can cause cancer!:( And if that's the case, will using condoms help to prevent it?

andrea464
12-17-2006, 04:08 PM
Midwife, I have a queston for you, as well. This has puzzled me for years and I've never gotten a satisfactory answer. I was diagnosed with HPV back...oh 12 years ago? But on the day I was due my colposcopy, I found out I was pregnant with my son. Doc didn't do the procedure but just kept a close eye on it and apparently the trauma of birth was enough to shed the cells for me and I didn't need the procedure after all.

My question is this, however...HPV is sexually transmitted. I get that. What I don't get is is it something the man picks up (like chlamydia or something) and then pases to the woman or is it just that the sex act itself can cause dysplasia? My impression is that it's not an STD per se so much as just sex can cause cancer!:( And if that's the case, will using condoms help to prevent it?


The virus is sexually transmitted. The virus is what causes the cells to mutate and change.
Using condoms can help, however, for HPV and HSV (herpes), not all areas that could be affected by the virus are covered with a condom (scrotum, for example).

midwife
12-17-2006, 11:09 PM
Hi Yodagirl,
I would respectfully disagree with the advice you received. There are 4 bad HPV types (6, 11, 16, 18) and unless there is documentation that you have been diagnosed with all 4 cancer-causing types, then the vaccine would still be helpful.

Here is a link to the Merck site FAQ:
http://www.gardasil.com/who-should-receive-gardasil.html

Currently it is recommended for ages 9-25, because that is the age group that is more likely to be exposed and also because the cervix of a younger woman is a bit more immature and the cells are more likely to interact poorly with HPV than those of us with more experienced cervixes. : )

MummyTummy, pregnancy is certainly not a contraindication for a colposcopy now. I suppose it might have been 12 years ago...that was before my time in women's health. When women are pregnant, their immune systems are a bit compromised, so sometimes HPV can cause problems that a non-pregnant woman's body would take care of. That is, when you weren't pregnant anymore, your body kicked HPV's tush.

Andrea is correct that it is the virus that causes problems. Often there are "co-contributors"...pregnancy, age (immature cervix), smoking (heck if I know why though!). Condoms can help, but HPV can reside in areas that are not covered by condoms.

It is pretty awesome that there is a vaccine that can pretty much eliminate a cancer. What an amazing era we live in!

Sheila53
12-18-2006, 03:55 PM
Thank you so much for all this great information! My DD should be getting all the records from her doctor soon so we'll know more. And she's been looking into low-cost health clinics. It's good to know that the procedure isn't outrageously expensive.

Thanks again for taking the time to reply--I really appreciate it. :)

blueberry3
12-18-2006, 05:45 PM
My roomate had an abnormal pap recently and it ends up she has precancerous cells, have her get it checked out. I hope everything is ok!

Jen415
12-19-2006, 01:36 PM
Another HPV girl here....I do have high risk and low-risk strains. I have had three colposcopies and imagine I will have at least one a year. I have Paps anywhere from 2-4 times a year depending on what is found. Until a cure/better treatment is made, this will be my course in life forever, or unless I have a hysterectomy to remove my cervix. Thank goodness I've been okay so far.

If you or your daughters are young enough to get the vaccine--GET IT. Unless you are becoming a nun and taking a vow of chastity, EVERYONE will be sexually active at some point, which means EVERYONE will be at risk. Condoms are not 100% effective for anything (although using them cuts the risks down considerably).

Okay, now my PSA is done....;)

WildWoman
12-19-2006, 03:27 PM
My expierience was exactly like someone posted earlier-had some stuff swabbed on that made the abnormal cells glow-which were then removed and biopsied. (they said about the size of a grain of rice-and got them all) Some cramping and slight discharge followed. The cells were not cancerous after all.
I have my reproductive services handled by Planned Parenthod as I have no insurance, they also work in conjunction with the state university where I went for the procedure at no cost.
Best of luck.
WW

Mummy_Tummy
12-19-2006, 03:41 PM
Andrea is correct that it is the virus that causes problems. Often there are "co-contributors"...pregnancy, age (immature cervix), smoking (heck if I know why though!). Condoms can help, but HPV can reside in areas that are not covered by condoms.
Yeah, I understand that, really. What I am asking is WHERE does the virus come from? Is it picked up from infected women and then passed on to the next, like any other STD? I mean, if you are in a monogomous relationship and then end up with HPV, are you gonna have to start seriously questioning your partner or what? LOL, I'm sorry if this sounds abrupt...I just can't think how else to phrase my question so it's understood!

midwife
12-19-2006, 05:22 PM
Ok, sorry I did not answer better. HPV is transmitted skin to skin. The cancer causing HPV is transmitted genitals to genitals. So someone gets it from sex and then gives it to someone else via sex. It can be dormant, however, so if someone is in a monogamous relationship and suddenly tests positive, it does not mean that one or the other has been messing around. One partner or the other partner may have simply been harboring dormant HPV, and then the HPV wakes up.
Does that make sense?

Mummy_Tummy
12-20-2006, 03:28 AM
Yup, sure does. Thanks for the clarification. I just wish more women were aware of this. We not only have to worry about pregnancies, STDs, AIDS, but cancer, as well!

Thank you, Midwife. I appreciate your time.