Cancer Freak Out - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 06-19-2013, 06:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh lordy am I anxious. I have 3 boys. 4.5 yo, 2.5 yo and 3 mo. When I was pregnant with my oldest I had an abnormal pap, followed by a normal pap after his birth. I didn't have another pap until last month. It came back ASCUS+HPV. So I start googling (while waiting for my colposcopy next week) and find that vaginal birth is contraindicated with cervical cancer because it can force the cancer cells into the blood stream and cause it to recur elsewhere. 
So IF I have cancer I have a 60% chance that having my baby vaginally has caused it to metastasize and I have a 15% chance of surviving. 
BUT, what if I had cancer before my second baby was born? Two vaginal births? Does that make it a 120% chance? 

What are the odds of ASCUS and HPV being cancer? I need a number! I couldn't sleep last night, I'm weepy, my b/p was 140/90 today (normal is 100/60)...I need to know as much as possible about my situation.

Also I had weird bleeding a couple months ago and constant menstrual cramp type pain. I have pain when urinating sometimes and kidney pain as well. (May be unrelated.)


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#2 of 12 Old 06-19-2013, 07:53 AM
 
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Oh my, SO scary. I don't have much info for you but I can help with the numbers a bit. First off, huge hugs to you hug.gif.
The desired outcome after two vaginal births with possible cervical cancer is to get through each birth without metastasis. IF you had the cancer for both births then there's a 40% chance you got through the first one without trouble and 40% of those possible outcomes mean you also got through the second birth without metastasis:
40%*40% = 0.4*0.4= 0.16 or 16%. Not great odds but certainly not minuscule for getting through both births without metastasis (or 84% chance for bad news). I'm sorry I don't have better news for you but at first glance that's what the numbers indicate. Remember also that these are the worst case scenario numbers. There's a good chance that the cancer wasn't present for one or even both births which means your odds are much better! I have no idea how likely an HPV positive result is to be cancer but that further reduces your odds of beingin danger. I know you posted the chance of surviving a metastasis but I won't entertain that figure until you know a bit more. Just know that there are still many things unknown that could work the odds greatly in your favour. Please, please try to stay positive and not get completely discouraged. There are many unknowns and having your strength sapped by so much anxiety and fear won't help. I know it has to be very difficult but having gone through cancer in my immediate family twice, I can tell you that losing all hope before all the cards are on the table only makes it harder for everyone.

I don't know if my reply is helpful at all but I couldn't not respond. If nothing else, know that I'm here to listen and pm me anytime. I just want to give you a huge hug hug.gif and urge you to hold on to hope.
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#3 of 12 Old 06-19-2013, 08:39 AM
 
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Skycheattraffic's math is right, but I'm not at all convinced it applies:

- You don't know that the abnormal pap before your first birth had anything to do with cancer.  There are all kinds of reasons for an abnormal pap, including false positives.

- Most HPVs don't cause cancer, even high-risk ones.  (http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/HPV).

- The odds of ASCUS+HPV being cancer don't seem to be high.  ASCUS (atypical cells, undetermined significance) can be a finding caused by mild infection, or inflammation.  You just had a baby three months ago - you might be seeing healing from birth.

 

I think the pain and bleeding you've experienced need to be checked out, and I think more frequent pap smears make sense (to keep an eye on the HPV), but I wouldn't jump to cancer straight from where you are.  It's a possibility, but not the biggest possibility.

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#4 of 12 Old 06-19-2013, 08:52 AM
 
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Absolutely MeepyCat, I was trying to make it clear that it's the WORST POSSIBLE scenario math. I'm not at my most coherent so I'm very happy you had additional info to share smile.gif
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#5 of 12 Old 06-20-2013, 07:55 AM - Thread Starter
 
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thank you both ! I have a tendency to think worst case scenario and I'm prone to anxiety ...last night I was up all night with chest pain and upset stomach , my blood pressure has been around 140 or 150 over 90 or 95 ..to be honest I could care less about myself , I'm worried about my kids and leaving them. I didn't know that having a baby could cause an abnormal pap , that's a huge relief ..I'll keep y'all updated with my test results .


sorry for all the typos and punctuation mistakes , I'm using talk to text .

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#6 of 12 Old 06-20-2013, 03:06 PM
 
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Micah_mae_ - I'm going to share my experience with abnormal paps and birth.

 

I have abnormal Paps because of HPV all the time.  Anytime there is an ASCUS + HPV result, they will do a colposcopy.  The colposcopy comes back with a grade.  Here's the scoop on the grading system(s).  There are two of them.

 

  • ASCUS (Atypical Cells of Undetermined Significance): An ASCUS pap smear result is considered to be mildly abnormal. This is the most common type of abnormal Pap smear. It basically means there were very mild changes and the cause could not be determined. The cause of the abnormal findings could be due to infection, irritation, or precancerous changes. ASCUS is not considered to be cervical dysplasia until further tests confirm it.

  • AGUS (Atypical Glandular cells of Undetermined Significance): AGUS refers to glandular cells that may originate in the cervical canal or uterus. Although not technically cervical dysplasia, AGUS can indicate underlying serious conditions. AGUS results are considered rare, resulting in less than one percent of Pap smear results.

  • LGSIL (Low Grade Squamous Intraepithelial Lesion): An LGSIL result means that mild dysplasia, more than likely caused by the human papillomavirus, has been detected. It is the most common classification of cervical dysplasia, and in most cases, clears up on its own within two years.

  • HGSIL (High Grade Squamous Intraepithelial Lesion): HGSIL is a more serious classification of cervical dysplasia. If left untreated, it could lead to cervical cancer.

An alternative grading method of classifying the degree of cervical dysplasia is by using the term CIN (cervical intraepithelial neoplasia). CIN identifies how much of the lining of the cervix is invaded by abnormal cells.

CIN Classifications
 

  • CIN I: Mild dysplasia; abnormal cells can be found in 1/3 of the lining of the cervix
  • CIN II: Moderate dysplasia; abnormal cells can be found in 2/3 of the lining of the cervix
  • CIN III: Severe dysplasia; abnormal cells can be found in more than 2/3 of the lining of the cervix and up to the full thickness of the lining

 

 

My last pap came back as a ASCUS and the colposcopy led to a grade of CIN II which I think correlates to somewhere between LGSIL and HGSIL on the other system.  I wasn't really that worried because an abnormal PAP DOES NOT mean that you have cervical cancer.  It doesn't even mean that you MIGHT have cervical cancer.  It just means that the cells of your cervix aren't looking exactly normal at that moment.  I also read after my results came back that a vaginal birth can actually help clear up the abnormal cells because the act of birth sloughs off so many cells that the abnormal ones are removed and the new ones grow in fine.  I would imagine that the new cells that grow back after a vaginal birth would also look funny if you did a PAP so soon after birth so, like the PP said, that could account for the abnormal pap right there.

 

I decided to test this theory and not treat my ASCUS as recommended by ny GYN.  I got pregnant 2 months after the colposcopy and had my son last June.  In September 2012, I went back for a repeat colposcopy and lo and behold, it came back normal.  

 

I'm not recommending that anyone disregard the advice of their doctor.  I'm just sharing my experience in hopes that you will take some comfort from the fact that I think your chances of having full-blown cervical cancer based on one ASCUS pap are very, very small.

 

Hugs to you!  I wouldn't even let it cross my mind again until your get the results of your colposcopy.   


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#7 of 12 Old 06-24-2013, 02:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you everyone for your stories and well wishes. I had my colposcopy today. They took 5 biopsies including the one from inside the cervix. I'm bleeding more than I thought I would but I guess they took lots of samples. They didn't really tell me anything except that missing all the other paps over the years make me higher risk and my mom and her mom having cervical cancer put me at higher risk. The first doctor did say that he doesn't think it's cancer yet, but he could be wrong (his words). Should have results somewhere between 4 days and 2 weeks.


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#8 of 12 Old 06-24-2013, 03:00 PM
 
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hug.gif micah_mae! I hope you get good results very soon!
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#9 of 12 Old 06-25-2013, 11:33 AM
 
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Micah_mae - big hugs, and best wishes for you. Remember, statistics are only statistics - They are not any one person's reality.

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#10 of 12 Old 06-25-2013, 12:26 PM
 
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Good luck Micah_mae!  I've had abnormal paps & colposcopies etc in the past, too, and I know how scary that can be.  It's been about two years since my last pap and in the back of my mind I know I need to do it again soon.  I hope your results come out great and your fears can be put to rest.


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#11 of 12 Old 07-08-2013, 01:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you ladies for your encouragement. <3 

Today the Dr called to get me the results of the biopsies. 
4 of them were LSIL, which is low grade cervical dysplasia. 1 area was HSIL, which is high grade cervical dysplasia. My Dr called it "pre-cancer". I will have another set of biopsies to confirm and will follow with a LEEP procedure if it is HSIL. If it turns out to be worse I will probably have a hysterectomy. So, so far, good news in the cancer department. 
Has anyone else had similar results? How did it turn out for you?

 

Also about my other symptoms. Turns out I have a UTI which explains the pelvic pain and they did a EKG to check my heart due to the chest pain and palpitations..turns out I also have premature atrial contractions which I'm going to have investigated more in depth soon. I have a 24 hour halter monitor thing getting put on tomorrow.


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#12 of 12 Old 07-08-2013, 02:04 PM
 
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Wow, it sounds like you've had quite a stressful time lately. Hugs to you!

 

My only experience with abnormal paps was about 12-13 years ago. They called it "precancerous cells present" and  then did a followup smear 6 months later which came back normal. They said to go on about my life like it never happened. I haven't had an abnormal test since.

 

I think that sometimes these things just happen, and sometimes they're something more. In your case, b/c of your family history, I would take it a little more seriously and definitely make sure you get a checkup/pap smear at least every year if not  6 months for awhile, just to be safe. Beyond that, the most important thing is to take care of yourself and try to calm down. Stressing yourself out is not only bad for your heart/blood pressure, but it's a feeding ground for disease. Eat healthy, get enough rest, and try to stay positive. 

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