Early stage Cervical Cancer- Talk to me - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 17 Old 04-11-2010, 04:16 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello ladies, I am hoping to tap your well informed selves about cervical cancer. When I had my pap done at the end of my first trimester in August I got the results back that I have high grade epithelial lesion (HGSIL). I choose not to follow up at that time with the biopsy because of the risks (although small) to the pregnancy. Now that my daughter is born and I nearly healed my OB is keen on getting in there and seeing how bad things are.

First off I know that it's not statistically likely that I have invasive cervical cancer even if I do have severe dysplasia. The pathologist will get to call that one. That said, I do want to start doing a little research and I'm hoping you'll share with me what you know.

What do you know about the pros and cons loop electrical excision (LEEP, LLETZ). cryotherapy, cautery or laser excision or ablation. I''m 25 and would like to have more children, what risks are associated with these procedures as they pertain to fertility?

What other treatments are out there that I don't know about?

I am going in for a colposcopy in the next two weeks. Any tips?

Thanks ladies!

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#2 of 17 Old 04-11-2010, 11:10 AM
 
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hi, i haven't had dysplasia personally but many people in my family have had it and my mom also had late stage cervical cancer. My eldest aunt had laser surgery for her dysplasia in her mid-20's and the doctor did tell her that it would be hard to be able to carry a baby to term, but she did go on to have 3 more kids but they were all preemies, another aunt that had the surgery during her first pregnancy also had first baby about 6 weeks early, but went on to have her next at full term. I think a lot of it has to do with how much and where the cancer cells are located on the risks involved for future pregnancies. Another thing, don't be afraid to get a second opinion no matter how benign the cancer appears, it is always better to be safe than sorry.

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Hello ladies, I am hoping to tap your well informed selves about cervical cancer. When I had my pap done at the end of my first trimester in August I got the results back that I have high grade epithelial lesion (HGSIL). I choose not to follow up at that time with the biopsy because of the risks (although small) to the pregnancy. Now that my daughter is born and I nearly healed my OB is keen on getting in there and seeing how bad things are.

First off I know that it's not statistically likely that I have invasive cervical cancer even if I do have severe dysplasia. The pathologist will get to call that one. That said, I do want to start doing a little research and I'm hoping you'll share with me what you know.

What do you know about the pros and cons loop electrical excision (LEEP, LLETZ). cryotherapy, cautery or laser excision or ablation. I''m 25 and would like to have more children, what risks are associated with these procedures as they pertain to fertility?

What other treatments are out there that I don't know about?

I am going in for a colposcopy in the next two weeks. Any tips?

Thanks ladies!

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#3 of 17 Old 04-12-2010, 08:59 PM
 
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i did an herbal treatment with my midwife that took 5 weeks of twice weekly sessions. it was quite a commitment and in that, gave me time and space for healing the emotions behind it as well. this was 15 years ago and i have not had a recurrence. one thing i remember was dietary changes and in particular Beta carotene being important to the healing. I began doing carrot juice - actually an immune booster carrot beet celery ginger juice. i would also recommend vitamin d to boost your immune system.

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#4 of 17 Old 04-12-2010, 10:45 PM
 
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I am going in for a colposcopy in the next two weeks.
being only 25, are you having other issues as well?

have you had blood work done?

just wondering seems like more is going on

 

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#5 of 17 Old 04-13-2010, 12:49 PM
 
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I had a LEEP when I was 21. I very easily got pg with both of my children (as in 1st cycle I tried both times) and had very healthy easy pregnancies, labors and deliveries. I haven't had an abnormal pap since, and I'm now 35. In my case, I can't think of anything negative associated with the experience overall.
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#6 of 17 Old 04-14-2010, 02:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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being only 25, are you having other issues as well?

have you had blood work done?

just wondering seems like more is going on
Only other issues I've had was major blood loss after my daughter's birth, and I had a huge blood transfusion and plasma. Had CBC two weeks ago and everything is normal (including my iron levels ). Beyond that I would describe myself as very healthy. Haven't had a headache in five years, kinda healthy. With my age it is rather the surprise, I know I had HPV but I figured that like most people that my body would just clear it.

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#7 of 17 Old 04-14-2010, 10:45 AM
 
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Only other issues I've had was major blood loss after my daughter's birth, and I had a huge blood transfusion and plasma. Had CBC two weeks ago and everything is normal (including my iron levels ). Beyond that I would describe myself as very healthy. Haven't had a headache in five years, kinda healthy. With my age it is rather the surprise, I know I had HPV but I figured that like most people that my body would just clear it.
It all depends on the strain of HPV. There are some of the more nasty ones that cause cancer - I should know, I have 2 of them. In 2005 I had pretty advanced exterior cervical dysplasia, serious enough that it had to be surgically removed. It was not fun and I still have scar tissue. It didn't impact the birth of my son b/c I ended up with an emergency c-sec, but it could have. I also had a large blood loss at the time.

I have not had an abnormal pap since. I try to go in and get examined twice a year. It is always a fight with ins to get them to pay for an HPV screen which is stupid b/c early detection is the key.

Dr. Andrew Weil has a protocol for cervical dysplasia (which is not cancer, but pre-cancer.) He recommends beta carotene supplementation, folic acid and b vitamin supplementation, and vinegar vaginal douching. I just take 25,000mg of beta carotene daily.

The good news is a majority of the time this is treatable and you will be fine. I *know* how scary it is. It was heartbreaking for me. In fact, I just got checked out again yesterday and got the all-clear...but the lead up to the appointment is always nerve-wracking.

Good luck to you!

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#8 of 17 Old 05-06-2010, 03:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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There were three areas that looked abnormal during the colposcopy and my doctor took bits as well as a intracervial sample. It takes the pathologist about a week. The process was not as bad as I thought I would be, the worst part was finding the right size speculum, we finally got something doable after the third downsize, who would have thought I would be using a pediatric speculum after a vaginal birth? Guess the stitches were a little over zealous. After that I asked for some numbing cream and it was done in under ten minutes.

In the meantime I have more questions! Is it worth having the results sent to a second pathologist? Quest will be taking the first look, and my obgyn said he does know of a pathologist that specializes in gyno at UCSF. I doubt my insurance will cover a second opinion but I wonder if it's worth it to do it anyway regardless of the results. I guess this is where my single mom fear comes in, I just want to be sure that I have accurate information regardless of the results. What would you do? What have you done? I am feeling my age here! I am inexperienced at navigating these medical systems, and although I am learning, all these procedures, doctors, pathologists... I guess it places me very firmly into an adult world I've not had to face before.

Anyone heard or had a Radical Trachelectomy? I've been doing a little reading online about treatment options and came across this fertility-preserving surgery for early stage cancer. It seems that 2/3 of women are able to have pregnancies, which is pretty good considering that 100% can't with a hysterectomy. Hopefully I won't have to deal with this, but it never hurts to be educated.

Thanks!

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#9 of 17 Old 05-06-2010, 10:18 PM
 
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#10 of 17 Old 05-08-2010, 11:54 AM
 
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I had cryosurgery after a colposcopy found precancerous cells. I am so glad I had it done--my subsequent paps have been cleared. The conservative OB I was seeing at the time prescribed beta mannan to help eradicate the HPV, and that's gone, too, possibly just naturally over time.

In terms of impacting fertility--

The cryo did leave scar tissue on my cervix, and I stopped producing EWCM. The best I would get was just a little stickiness. So for charting, I had to be rigorous about temping, and considered myself fertile from day one of AF until 3 days after the thermal shift. We used FAM for a few years while TTA.

Then, when we were TTC I started worrying that my lack of EWCM would be a problem, so I used EPO, grapefruit juice, flax seed oil, and Mucinex to make my cervical fluid as copious as possible. It actually worked to increase things, not back to normal but I would get small amounts of EWCM.

It took 6mos of trying for us to get pregnant the first time. That pregnancy ended in miscarriage (unrelated to my cervical issues). I got pregnant with my daughter 6wks after my emergency D&E.

I had ruled out homebirth b/c the doctor who did my cryo said that the scar tissue might rule out vaginal birth. Thankfully my dear friend suggested I ask a homebirth midwife about it. She said that she could manually break up the scar tissue if necessary. Well, my labor was under 8hrs so it was never even an issue.

I got AF back at 4mos with DD, and after the first few cycles I noticed something amazing--I had "normal" EWCM again The birth took care of the scar tissue and my cervix healed normally, I guess.

We got pregnant this time on the 2nd cycle of trying after about a year and a half of FAM to TTA.

dd #1 11/15/07 and dd #2 unplanned and so glad the midwife was on her way!
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#11 of 17 Old 05-08-2010, 02:03 PM
 
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I'm not sure I understand what stage you are at - your subject says "early stage cancer" - are they cancerous cells or pre-cancerous? I guess you are waiting for the results.

I had pre-cancerous CIN stage II and high-risk HPV results. My doctor kept an eye on it with regular paps and biopsies for about 2 years as often it resolves by itself. Since it did not go away, I ended up having a LEEP. I did a lot of research online and what I found only freaked me out, so do be careful what sources you read from.

At the time, the LEEP seemed the best surgical option but I believe there were new recommendations made soon after mine. What I think is most important is to have a GYN you trust explicitly. Mine was very careful to remove only the cells necessary and that resulted in not much tissue even with a "clear margin" around the cells.

I think my cervical mucus was also affected afterwards like PP says. It also took us awhile to get pregnant but honestly, I don't see how a LEEP could have affected fertility - there are ways around the absence of mucus. What helped me get pregnant however was acupuncture and RCTs now indicate acupuncture is excellent at helping to conceive, so you might want to consider that in the future.

I had no problems with my pregnancy and birth and just got my second all clear pap AND I have NO HPV!! My body has cleared it.

Good luck and I hope the results come back low grade or precancerous.

One other thing - I have a friend who had stage 1 cancer and had one third of her cervix removed. She went on to carry to term two children (separate pregnancies) without problem and had two vaginal births.

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#12 of 17 Old 05-08-2010, 06:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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#13 of 17 Old 05-08-2010, 07:27 PM
 
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I had cryosurgery, but that didn't work so I ended up with the LEEP. This was about 13 years ago.

My paps have been clear ever since, and I would highly reccommend having the surgery - it's really not something to mess with. The surgeries weren't that bad at all.

I went from having ASCUS on my pap (Atypical Squamous Cells of Undetermined Significance) to CIN II in six months, so I've always been a proponent of getting these things taken care of as soon as possible.
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#14 of 17 Old 02-02-2012, 08:02 PM
 
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I had cryosurgery  3 weeks ago, before the procedure I did a preg test which was negative... Now I find out I am pregnant. I must be 6-9 weeks along I would guess. Havent gone in for an ultra sound yet.... I am really concerned of any harmful affects this could have on my unborn baby.... any advice info?.... the doctor didnt urge a abortion, she said it is what it is... and she cant promise the health of this baby. I am not sure what to do.. no one seems to know anything about this topic. HELP PLEASE.

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#15 of 17 Old 02-02-2012, 09:01 PM
 
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I cannot say I know what I am talking about, but it is my sense that you should be fine. The surgery they did was topical - should not affect the baby......? Did she give you any reason to think different?


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#16 of 17 Old 02-02-2012, 09:06 PM
 
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found this

 

Cervical Incompetence

  • Women who have had cryotherapy may have a slightly increased risk for cervical incompetence, a condition in which the cervix begins to dilate and/or efface before the baby is full term. Your health care provider might perform a vaginal ultrasound, which allows her to see if your cervix is unusually short or beginning to dilate before it should. In a 2006 study of women who had various cervical procedures, researchers at the Memorial University of Newfoundland used transvaginal ultrasound to predict which were likely to deliver prematurely (see "References" below). Although women in the cryosurgery group had shorter cervixes than women in the control group, they did not experience higher rates of preterm labor. A study in 1989 at Semmelweis University Medical School, Budapest, Hungary, found that even cryotherapy during pregnancy did not negatively affect pregnancy outcomes (see "References"). If you are having an otherwise healthy pregnancy, a past cryotherapy should not cause problems.




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#17 of 17 Old 09-08-2012, 05:41 PM
 
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Sorry I havent commented or replied to this post... update, I am 36 weeks pregnant and have been in preterm labor since 29 weeks.... lots of very strong contractions every 2-3 mins. I've been taking 20 mlgrms of nifedipine every 3 hours to settle them a bit... but no dialation untill just recently. I know this has nothing to do with the cryo because the same thing happened with my first pregnancy. I have been dialated to a 3 for about a week... and I keep losing and regrowing my mucus plug. My OB transfered me to a high risk doc with lots of fancy equipment to better check baby early on. He measured normal every time, they were concerned it may have caused harm to the fetus. Really all it was... the doctors have never had a case like mine ( being pregnant and having cryo surgery ) so they were covering all the bases. 

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