Can someone help me know what this means?

I had my first pap smear in over 13 years (I know…) My HPV high risk testing came back positive, which I understand. But then I tested positive for messenger RNA High-Risk HPV genotypes… There are 15 of them. I have my biopsy on the 6th. I am scared. I don’t know what any of this means. I am lost. I want to stay off the internet because I will go into a rabbit hole.

The piece of paper I have with everything they found is gibberish to me. If anyone could/would take the time to look at it and talk to me would be greatly appreciated. I found all of this out on June 30th and I have to wait until August 6th for the biopsy. Can someone shed a little light? I know I will get these answers on the 6th but I am going crazy thinking about it. Any help is appreciated. Thank you.


I’m very sorry to hear that you are going through a worrisome time of late.

When I received an HPV positive result last year, the letter went on to say that there was no sign of any abnormal cells, & to get screened again 12 months on. It didn’t mention what strain of HPV I had. It was my understanding that cervical screening just checked for high risk types?

Unfortunately, I can’t shed any light on what they’ve found on your screening, but did they tell you if you had abnormal cells?

Medical jargon makes us worry all the more, doesn’t it? :pensive:

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Hi Jen -

Thank you so much for responding to me. I am so happy for you that there was no sign of abnormal cells! I never thought I would say that sentence but here we are :woman_shrugging :

I honestly didn’t think anyone would respond and you writing me back has eased literally everything I’m feeling right now. It has helped me more than you know, so thank you so much.

Unfortunately they did tell me I had abnormal cells, and I’m getting my biopsy on the 6th. I don’t know what happens with the biopsy, so I’m nervous about the pain. There are so many questions I have and I think that’s why I’m freaking out so much. I am so overwhelmed with thoughts of “what could happen”. My mother’s response to this was “should we freeze your eggs?”. Not the response I expected but bless her heart.

When you say that they wanted to screen you in 12 months, was that just another pap smear?

My sister is a nurse and my mother is a PA… But I just can’t with the medical jargon. When I got this call I had so many questions and I was so freaked out that whenever I got an answer I had no idea what she was saying.

Hello again.

I am so much like you. I’ve had type 1 Diabetes for 23 years, & every time I have check ups for it (every 6-12 months) , I’m scared that I’ll get bad news. In fact, my health anxiety can be so bad that I avoid seeking medical help altogether. When I went for my smear test last year, that was the first one I’d had in 20 years (I know, so stupid) . The only reason I went for that one was because I’d moved areas & the nurse at my new surgery was adamant that I had a smear. I was literally terrified & cried the night before, because I had some symptoms of cervical cancer (abnormal bleeding).

In answer to your question, yes, I was invited for another smear test 12 months after the HPV positive result. I was terrified again after having the next smear, but fortunately for me, I’d cleared the infection, so I don’t have to have another smear test for 3 years. I was so relieved.

I’ve done a lot of Googling about your current situation, as I was so sure I’d be invited in for further tests just like you have, & I hope I can put your mind at rest a little.

From what I understand, abnormal cells taken from the cervix very rarely means cancer. These days, a smear test looks for high risk HPV. If a smear test finds high risk HPV, then the smear test sample is looked at for abnormal cells. If any are found, you’ll be invited in for further investigation. It usually takes a long time for these abnormal cells to turn into anything sinister (that’s if they do at all).

It’s very likely that you’ve been invited in because they want to see if you require treatment for the abnormal cells. This can prevent the cells from turning cancerous, but please believe me that cervical cancer is quite rare. Yes, it happens, but nobody will tell you these days how rare it actually is. We, as women are expected to rock up to smear appointments, no questions asked, but as you know, it’s not as simple as that mentally. It can be a worrying time for many of us.

From what I understand, abnormal cells are graded from CIN1 to CIN3. None are cancerous, but they do have the potential to turn cancerous. It doesn’t mean that they will though. I don’t know what the medical jargon means, but I’m pretty sure that your next appointment is just to deal with your abnormal cells that probably isn’t cancer. It can take decades for HPV to turn cancerous, that’s if it does at all.

You are in the system now, which means that you are being looked after. I just wish that medical professionals realised what their medical jargon does to us mentally.

I hope I’ve helped a bit. I’m no medical expert, but sometimes it helps to talk about things.

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Oh, & I’ve read about many women having samples taken from their cervix (biopsy) & it doesn’t hurt at all. I’ve never had one, but all the women that I’ve heard about that has had one has said it’s nothing to fear.

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Hi :slight_smile: I didn’t want to read your post and not respond at all. I’m sorry you are feeling so confused and worried, I’ve definitely been there!

In regards to the medical jargon on your lab results, I’ve also been there lol mine came back with loads of words and phrases that sounded and looked terrible, it TRULY brought me to my knees in fear. I had no idea what any of it meant and I did Google, which I don’t recommend because it didn’t help me at all and only left me more confused than I started out. I ended up just having a CIN2 lesion. Not sure why they include all that extra crap wording only doctors understand :roll_eyes:

As far as the biopsy, I went in for my colposcopy (just a more in depth smear) where they open you up the same way with the speculum, swipe a vinegar solution on your cervix (might feel a little cold but not painful) this will highlight any abnormal cells white so that they can look at them more closely through this interesting looking microscope (stays on the outside of you). This is where they will take the biopsy from to see exactly what level of changes you have so as to provide you with the best treatment possible! I had 2 biopsies taken that day, it appears to be the norm to have multiple taken. And I only felt a tiny pinch when they were taken, it wasn’t anything I would say was “painful”. I had some minor cramping and spotting the rest of that day but then that was it. Done and dusted in 3 minutes time. It was very quick and easy honestly.

And Jen provided some great statistics and facts in regards to cell changes and cervical cancer. While I would never down play the diagnosis because I know it is some people’s reality, it is not as common as we think it is when we are told we have HPV and cell abnormality. My gyno told me at my fist consult with him that he’s been in practice for over 20 years and has only diagnosed ONE woman with cervical cancer. Hes seen hundreds and hundreds of women. The odds are in your favor :slight_smile: and you’ve come to a great place full of amazing women for advice and comfort!

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Jen and Jackie - I cannot thank you enough for taking the time to write back to me and to research for me. My heart is so full. I have been just a mess because I don’t know what I’m supposed to expect. It has actually taken a huge toll on me because I don’t know anything.

As Jen stated - the medical jargon - I literally have no clue what my doc is talking about. When I got that call from my physician she said all of these things that I did not know the meaning to. I asked if it was cancer and it wasn’t answered (I completely understant that) and when I asked if I was going to be ok she said “we will take it day by day”. Like… WHAT? You can’t leave me on that. So of course I go to Google and go down the rabbit hole of the survival rate of all of this.

I was told this information on the 8th of July and I am getting my biopsy on the 6th of August. And it has been killing me. Maybe that means what she saw was ok and I didn’t need to get in right away? If it wasn’t that big of deal I would have liked to know… you know??

Jen - If it’s ok, I wanted to ask how you are doing with your type 1. Having anxiety about your health is no joke. And when you actually get that news, it validates that anxiety. And then you’re just pissed off you went in anyways. I really feel that way right now :woozy_face:

Jackie - If you don’t mind me asking, how did your colposcopy turn out? Are you doing ok? I appreciate you so much in letting me know about the colposcopy. It has given my heart some rest about being so nervous. Thank you so much for giving me some ease.

All in all - Thank you both so much. If I could I would hug you forever.

I really don’t think they can know if it’s cancer just from a smear test. I can’t imagine what you are going through right now, as I’ve been lucky when it comes to smear tests, but I totally understand why you feel so worried. If you don’t mind me saying so, I don’t think the physician handled that phone call to you very well. I often think that medical professionals should have to take courses in customer service!

Thanks for asking about my type 1. To be honest, my Diabetes has never been very well controlled. People think it’s as easy as just taking Insulin & you will be fine, but there’s much more to it than that. I’ve got a few complications from it, like Maculopathy & I think I have the start of diabetic kidney disease coming on, but I’m receiving more tests for that. I’m generally doing well though :blush: I take each day as it comes basically.

Please let us know how you get on at your colposcopy. Remember, most women who get invited to colposcopy DO NOT have cancer. The odds are in your favour!

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No problem whatsoever :)) my colposcopy was about a month ago if I remember correctly? Came back as CIN2, I know I’ve read of some doctors/areas doing a watch and wait approach at that level but my gyno likes to remove all cell changes, just get them out and then they can’t continue to change further on down the road. Which I 100% agree with.

The colposcopy was easy in my opinion, waiting on the results was anxiety inducing even though at the colpo my doctor said he didn’t see anything “sinister” and said from what he could see it would more than likely come back as what my smear detected. I’m not sure where you are but I’m in the states so I got my biopsy results back within a weeks time. I know some ladies here have waited what seems like much longer. I will say, I asked that day “so I don’t have cancer then right?” To which he replied “well I can’t say so until we get the biopsy back. But it doesn’t look that way. Nothing to lose sleep over just yet” which TERRIFIED me (thanks anxiety) but looking back now I realize it wouldn’t be smart or professional for him to have said I didn’t have cancer even thought he didn’t think I did, without knowing for sure with my biopsy results. So I feel you on that part, but it’s normal for them to respond that way.

I actually had my LEEP procedure Thursday morning, so 3 days ago. I had it under general anesthesia as this is how my doctor prefers to do it. He said all went good after I woke up, so I’ve just been home hanging out and relaxing :slight_smile: had some period like cramps the day of and ever since just mild ones off and on and some super light spotting.

This forum has helped me tremendously while going through this whole journey as I had no experience with anything like this before. My one piece of advice would probably be to stay off Google. All that did for me was convince me I had cancer and was going to die soon lol :see_no_evil: no matter what symptom of any ailment you search for, Dr. Google will tell you that you have cancer in my experience. It’s exhausting lol

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