Cervical screening after radiotherapy and chemotherapy?

Hi Ladies,

I am due my first 9 months follow at the hospital since my cervical cancer treatment (Stage 3C2). Recently I had a letter from the NHS inviting me for a smear test. I asked my GP if this was appropriate, and she said she’d contact my hospital. She came back to me to tell me that the hospital said they would be doing an internal examination of the cervix every 3 months (!) for the next 2 years, so it wasn’t necessary. I have not had ANY internal examinations since my treatment, neither have I been told about any. I’m going to raise this at my meeting, but I wanted to see what other people’s experiences were.

Has anyone had a smear test post CC treatment? As far as I can see it would be the only way to see if you still had the HPV virus anyway. Do people get internal examinations post treatment?

Thanks everyone.

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I had internal exams & Pap smears every 3 months. Now that I just met my 2 years post treatment in August, I’ll be doing internals every 6 months now. I think it might be different in other places, I’m from the U.S.

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I have asked my consultant as I received a letter for a smear test. She told me to ignore. Smear tests are for prevention of CC and as I already had it is not relevant anymore. Also my consultant will follow up my progress on treatment in a regular basis with more intrusive tests such as MRI.

Better to ask your consultant as well to see what he will suggest.

Maria xx

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Hi I finished my treatment in March I’ve never had a any internal examinations I was scanned 3 months later and I’m getting another scan in 6 months then thay said thay won’t be seeing me again unless I have any symptoms I thought thay would keep scanning me for 5 years is everyone else getting discharged after 9 months x

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Good question, Karen, and one I’d like to ask too - I was initially told I would get another scan in 6 months after the 3 months check, but it’s not happening. I’m wondering if this is related to COVID? Is it that they don’t want to see us unless they have to?

Hi guys just seen this and thought I’d post! I was told we don’t need smear tests after treatment and that they do pelvic exams and scans post treatment. I am in NI though so it may differ. My team in NI have reviewed me over the phone since I finished treatment last November, due to covid I assume. I had a face to face appointment a few weeks ago and queried that I should infact be due another scan as my last mri was in April. My oncologist said they don’t do scans on a set time frame anymore and that they only scan you if you have symptoms or concerns. This blows my mind! She also done a VERY quick pelvic exam which was basically just a feel around in there no speculum or anything but she said all felt ok. I’m lucky that she sent me for a CT scan (was ok) and will have an mri and dexa scan soon too all being well.
Much love
Pickles xxxx

Hi Pickles,

It’s interesting, isn’t it! I just had my 9 months check, and she did an internal - speculum and a feel around, and said all felt normal. I was told I should have had another internal check in August - they had made me an appointment with a local hospital but failed to tell them what they wanted to be done with me - so they did nothing! Apparently they do internals every 3 months for the first 2 years, and blood tests every 6 months. If the blood test is abnormal then they sent you for MRi and CT scans, which I had this week as my blood results were outside the normal range. Now I’m full of anxiety, but just glad to have had the scans, as it’s hard to be reassured without them, isn’t it! Glad you got your scans too. X

Wow I’m so sorry you missed your one in August due to that, that is so frustrating but relieved to hear this pelvic exam went well for you. Sorry to hear your bloods are outside of the normal range recently. It could be down to any number of things I’m sure but I do understand it’s hard not to worry. I’m glad they have followed up already with scans. It’s not so bad getting the scans but the anxiety that follows after is not the one lol what type of scans did you have - ct and mri? P.s I’m a fellow 3c so if there’s anything I can ever be of help with please message me anytime

Pickles xxxx

Glad to see a post from a fellow NI lady! I’m 2+ weeks post treatment so I’m glad to read how follow ups are done at the minute. I was told I’ll get a phone consultation in a few weeks then another follow up at the 3month ish mark. I assume some sort of scan will be done at that stage.
Although mine is an Adenocarcinoma and I know they can be stubborn to shift so they may wait a bit longer. I do however know from my pre Bracchy MRI that - consultants words - things have really improved down there now and the tumour has shrunk.
Hoping it’s still shrinking!

Hi Pickles, I had MRi with buscopan of the cervix and abdomen (I originally had cancer in my paraortic lymph nodes) and then a CT scan of the whole body, with a contrast dye. It was thorough, for which I’m very grateful. Nice to meet another 3C lady! I was NED in May, which is only 6 months ago, so I’m really hoping the scans are clear, but you can’t help worry, as you know. Xx

Shammy, they should most certainly do an MRi of the cervix for you 3 months after the end of treatment. I was told the radio/brachytherapy goes on working for 3 months, so the tumour/s should be shrinking during that time, and we hope :crossed_fingers::crossed_fingers::pray: will be gone by then. This would then be termed NED - no evidence of disease. You’re not considered fully cured until you’ve been clear for 5 years after the treatment. My primary tumour had shrunk by the time I had brachytherapy, but not gone - this is normal, I was told. It was gone 3 months later, and I hope it has stayed gone!!! Xx

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Oh @Jacks133 I hope so too!! Its unbelievable how brilliant the treatment can be nowadays and it’s not all doom and gloom. But its certainly an absolute life changer. I can feel myself creeping little by little out of that horrible dark place between diagnosis to end of treatment… but I’m almost scared to become " too positive "
It’s like living in the twilight zone!

That’s great that they have done both scans Jacks, it’s good to have all areas covered. They told me that the CTs are excellent for looking at the nodes and the mri is the good one for looking at the pelvic area more specifically so it’s great you’ve got both done! I finished my treatment last November. I hope you get amazing news from your scans, I will be thinking of you! I just had my CT last Tuesday and rang my GP today to see if they heard anything, luckily my nice Gp rang me back and said all unchanged from last one in November last year when I finished treatment. I still have an mri to get sometime soon so they are very non committal and just say all looks unchanged but we need mri to get the best look at the pelvis. The non committal answers i something i struggle with so much still but that’s the joys of cancer :woman_facepalming:t2:

Shammy, that’s great another NI lass!!! Hope you are getting on well post treatment? Covid can be a good excuse to hide haha. Just keep reminding yourself that your treatment is still working away. I finished treatment in November of last year and had my first mri in Jan, they then reviewed me via phone in the February time. I had another scan in April and then only got my face to face review in November where i asked for more scans due to the time lapse. They seemed lax about it but I feel better getting scanned so I can breathe :rofl: xxxxx

Hi all,

I had an MRI and CT scan end of November as I completed 1 year post treatment. I had also an appointment with the consultant which confirmed that moving forward I will have yearly scans and consultation appointments in 4 months intervals.