Biopsy showed inflammation only?

I had an abnormal smear 6 months ago and went in for a colposcopy. They saw a very small area of abnormal cells and took a biopsy! The biopsy results came back a few weeks later and I had a letter that said they found ‘inflammation only’ and that I would have another smear/colposcopy in 6 months (which I am going for tomorrow). Has anyone had anything similar? I wish I had called gynaecology at the time and asked them what the results meant but I just pushed it to one side and tried not to think about it. Now I have my appointment tomorrow I’m panicking!! What happened to the abnormal cells that they saw at my appointment 6 months ago?? Any advice would be great! Thanks

Hi @Clarelouise

If a biopsy has confirmed inflamation only, the small area that was seen wouldnt have been CIN/precancer… HPV can either react with our cervical cells causing abnormalities or it can react and only cause inflammation to an effected area xx

I don’t want to contradict or worry anyone, but my first biopsy came back with inflammation only and zero malignancy and that was in early dec and I very much do have 1b3 adenocarcinoma which has since been confirmed. The problem with biopsies is that it only gives information on one area of the cervix. It is not a comprehensive sample. It’s difficult unless your dr has a very good reason to get a deeper sample, at the top of the cervix. You could request a surgical biopsy, which is how my oncologist finally got confirmation, but that was after MRI found the tumor. You really begin to understand sometimes that cancer is not nearly easy enough to spot in the early stages. I don’t have any advice unfortunately because I don’t know how unusual my experience is, but if you feel something is not right, you can at least make a case for an MRI I would hope. If not that, a transvaginal ultrasound with a supper full bladder. Good luck :heart:

1 Like

That is true, biopsies are mainly taken from 3-4 points usually 2 from the ectocervix (outer surface for CIN/squamous cancer) and 1-2 (a little further in for CGIN/adenocarcinoma) as that is usually where adenocarcinomas form, that doesnt mean to say all of them do as adenocarcinomas can and do happen anywhere in the cervival canal so some can hide way further up, adeno is usually harder to diagnose as the cells or tumour can be harder to find, the tests we have at preventing/diagnosing CC i.e smears and colposcopies are the most effective with squamous changes/cancers but they do catch adenos/CGIN more often than not, but they can be missed depending where they are as the full endocervix isnt completely visble to take a biopsy from

I was mainly refering to the area that was seen by the colposcopist which would be the squamous type (maybe i should have clarified lol) a biopsy has confirmed that particular area wasnt precancerous CIN

I hope everything is going well with your journey/treatment btw @Lovewinz ive been following some of your posts, i hope all is well :pray: xx

1 Like

Thank you Tinkerbelle29 for bringing your expertise in about the variations of CC and a very clear description of the difficulties gynos can face in “finding” some adenocarcinomas. Lucky me, I get the “hidey” CC! My oncologist has also informed me that it is possible to have BOTH SCC and adenocarcinoma at the same time, so however unusual it may seem (I never even thought about anything other than SCC when attending my prior smears) it’s probably important to mention it, especially as adenos are becoming much more common for some reason.

  • Thank you for asking about my journey, Tinkerbelle29. I have really started to see this as a journey—my oldest son said to me the other day (I’m pretty sure he was referencing Lord of the Rings) “ Mom, great adventures never seem fun when you are setting out on your journey. This is just an adventure that we will look back on”

Hi, thank you both for replying.
I went for my colposcopy last week and asked them about the biopsy from June. The doctor said the same and that the cells they saw were not precancerous and just inflamed. During this colposcopy she found another small area of cells so I have had another biopsy so again I wait :roll_eyes:. She said everything looks perfectly healthy and she wasn’t concerned so fingers crossed.
If you don’t mind me asking, what was it that made the docs look deeper? I’m assuming I can’t just request a more in depth look or mri as I don’t have any other symptoms or concerns. The only reason for the colposcopy’s was my abnormal smear.
Thank you so much and I hope all is going well with you xx

1 Like


That is super encouraging that you have no symptoms. I think it is more likely to be invasive cancer if you have symptoms. For me, I endured heavy bleeding and serious pain for months, and while my smear showed HPV and cell changes my gyno was convinced I was moving towards diabetes because of my recent weight gain ( which appears to be caused by my tumor actually). For me, it was kind of like a circus of misfires and trails leading down the wrong path all the while my symptoms got scarier each month. No symptoms= much better starting point for you on this journey of testing and waiting. On the other hand, as soon as I started treatment, all my symptoms have completely disappeared & im only on week 2. My main thought is even though there aren’t symptoms, because they have seen two different “areas” of concern now, I would request at least a transvaginal ultrasound if this biopsy comes back negative. It wouldn’t hurt to have a couple of different approaches at this point.