CIN 3 without clear margins

Hi everyone

I had CIN 2 and 3 removed by Lletz in July this year with no issues.  After 4 weeks I received a very un-informative letter from the hospital to say that "it appeared that all had been removed" and that they would see me for a repeat smear in 6 months at my GP surgery.

Yesterday I visited my GP for another matter and asked if she had any further info on my results as the letter was so vague.  Unfortunately she was able to tell me that one of the margins was not clear.  I cannot remember now which one it was as I kind of went into shock.  As I had a 6 month recall I presumed they were happy that they had got it all.

I know the cells removed where not that wide but 7mm deep - is that big?  I think it is the deep margin that is not clear.

My GP said not to worry but that this does mean that it is more likely that when I am checked in January (6 month check up) that it will be back.  She said I had to wait for 6 months to allow healing time as otherwise could get a false reading.  I don't want to worry about this again for 3 months, so does anyone have any advice for me?

What is the likelihood of reoccurance of CIN 3 if the margins were not clear?  Is this likely to have turned into cancer in this time??  Anything I can do to help my body fight this?


Thank you



Anyone got any advice re margins please?



Hi Kay,

Its a bit of a tricky one. One of the ladies who had treatment for CIN3 at the same time as me had unclear margins but passed her test of cure with flying colours and is back on 3 yearly smears. Me however, I had clear margins, but am booked in for a repeat LLETZ after my 6 month smear came back with CIN3 again. I think when you have the LLETZ, even if it is not completely clean cut, the treatment in itself can often cause the bad cells to die off in the healing process, which is why they make you wait 6 months before testing again. Easy to say but try not to let it burden you for the next few months, you are in the system and being watched over very carefully. 

Best wishes for the all clear in a few months



Hi Suzy

Thanks for your reply - yes I know there is no easy answer but thanks for your response.  I wish you all the best for your second Lletz coming up, I hope it goes well for you and this  time is the last one :-)

take care


Hi there

sorry ur so worried about this. The colposcopy clinics see people everyday for CIN and know how best to treat it. it may be that some low grade cells were left on one of your margins and they are hoping your body will clear it. Up. When they do a Lletz it is supposed to mobilise your immune system to the area and can clear up hpv/mild cell changes. There's every chance this will be the case for you. And if it isn't you may just need a bit more treatment. If I was you, I'd be happy to be treated in this way as they are not over treating and potentially causing fertility issues down the line.  I could be wrong as well but I would be very surprsied if your cells were 7mm deep. Pre cancer means that the abnomal cells are on the surface only and have not invaded the deeper tissues.  Mine was 7mm deep and I had stage 1b1 cancer so it's highly likely it was one of the edges with less clear margins. I hope this helps put your mind at ease. Good luck with the next check up xx

Thanks Kay, me too! I went for my pre-op the other day and I have to say I am always stunned at how many ladies there are in the waiting room. I keep trying to remind myself they are treating us sort of like an insurance policy against future cancer. By being monitored and checked so thoroughly they are making sure that the worst never comes to pass. Irritating to have so many people wanting a look up your lady parts, and scary waiting for results, but all worth it for the (eventual) all clear! X

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Thanks Nellie - sorry to hear of your diagnosis and hope you are recovered now.  Yes I am sure you are right - I was so confused with info when I left my GP that I can remember anything in any detail!  I know that one of my margins are clear and the other was not - it mentioned endocervical and ectocervical, but I can't remember what one was clear for me.  I think endo is the one that goes up and ecto across - is that right?  Anyway I will contact my GP to confirm.  Not that it really matters as you say it is just CIN for me and nothing more.

Best wishes