Confusing phone call with doctor pre colposcopy- ‘suggestive of cancer’ help?!

Hi ladies

have seen how supportive everyone here is and looking for advice, clarity, anything really.

a few days ago I received the dreaded ‘abnormal’ letter from my first smear test. (Age 27, I know I was late :()

i finally spoke to a doctor today after asking several times and asked her the full result as the letter just said ‘abnormal’. She wasn’t very friendly which immediately put me on edge. She said high grade dyskariosos and then she said cells suggestive of something. I thought she said cells suggestive of something soundling like ‘cervical something neoplasia’ (which I thought was CIN and I hadn‘t heard her properly) but she immediately followed up with ‘which is cervical cancer’ . I am not only scared but very confused. I thought CIN wasn’t cancer yet. Could anyone tell me what the cell type she could have actually said that is already cancerous is? it was a bad line but I’m sure it was something ‘plasia’. I asked her if the test suggested already cancerous cells and she quite Callously said yes but that was what the colposcopy was for as smears can be vague. 


if anybody knows what cells I misheard that would be great. Also if anyone has any stories of something ‘suggestive of cancer’ being found on their smear I’d be grateful to hear them. She was blunt and rude and wouldn’t answer questions and I couldn’t even process what she was saying at the time and now I can’t stop crying.

Hi, sorry to hear how worried you are I know it's such a scary time especially when you only have that letter. She sounds awful, was it a gp you spoke to? She may not be specialist so I would try and call the clinic where you are going for colposcopy as they will be able to give you the information you need if you ask to speak to one if the nurses. Cin is not cancer it's a pre cancer, they can't say for sure until they remove it with lletz and send it to the lab but most cin is just that and removed successfully. I can't remember how to spell it but what you said the cervical int something plasia is cin so pre cancerous abnormal cells, not cancer x

Hi Libby, 

Thanks for taking the time to comment, it really is a very scary and emotional time but it's nice to be able to come here and seek support. She wasn't my GP but she was a GP at my practice, as they said she was the only person available to call me back. She hadnt even read the result prior to calling which also upset me a little as i felt it wasn't really being taken seriously.

Thats what I had thought and read too that CIN was pre-cancer and only a biopsy could show cervical cancer but as soon as she said cervical cancer and agreed there were potentially cancerous cells i just didnt know what to think. I'm hoping perhaps as she was reading the results she was just rushing through and gave some misleading information. I've now recieved my appointment date and as suggested I rang the clinic to ask to speak with a nurse but i was told nobody could discuss anything prior to my appointment and that they'd give me the information then which is unfortunate. I guess it's just a wait now. I'm really hoping itis only CIN and she was just not a specialist as you say but I think just because ive heard her say it 'could be cancerous' i can't get that out of my mind :( x

Have you got long to wait for your colposcopy appointment? Thats a shame noone at the hospital can talk to you, mine have always been really good and the nurses always taken their time to explain things to me. Does your letter say high grade abnormality or severe dyskariosis? my nurse said the smear will pick up an abnormality but only biopsies or lletz can diagnosed a cancer. And its really surprising how little some GP's know about all these cervical problems so hopefully it was just a misunderstanding x

My appointment is next Monday (18th) so just under a week to wait- although that feels like ages! Yeah it really was a shame, they were very nice about it but just said unfortunately they dont give information prior to the appointment but will happily take questions when i get there. 

I still haven't had a full printed letter, but on the phone she said high grade dyskaorisis. From reading here and a few other sources it seems it was quite bad practice for her to say something on a smear is 'suggestive of cancer' because as youve pointed out and as the nurse said a biopsy is needed to assess if something is cancerous. I've also read that if CIN is suspected alongside highgrade some professionals refer to it as a cancer because it is very close but it is actually a carcinoma in situ. But still the general idea I've got is not to run with this until I've had the biopsy because at most a smear will generally pick up an abnormality and can grade the dyskaryosis and the biopsy does the rest. So im hoping she was just mixed up, rushing, or using slightly muddled terminology. 

it's hard waiting though and i cant decide if i should be getting on with things and trying to enjoy life as normal until the test or researching more and preparing myself! xx

I would say try and put it to the back of your mind if you can and just get on with things, I didn't do that and got myself in a terrible state but now I just try and forget it and go with the flow. The colposcopy is fine they just have a close magnified look at your cervix and apply a vinegar type solution which shows up the abnormal cells then they'll prob either take a small punch biopsy or do a lletz which they'll give you a local anathetic for, my hospital only takes punch biopsies then book you in for the lletz but I know some hospitals do the lletz at colposcopy appointment so might be good idea to ask the hospital what they do as you might want to book a day off work. Other than that if you can I'd really try and not worry and just wait for your appointment x

Thanks Libby, I will definitely try!It's been really helpful chatting with you and good to get another perspective. I really have been getting myself into a state when i only focus on/think about/read about this. I think its hard with the time of year because everyone is doing festive things, wanting to go out and about and be hapy etc and I want to join in but this is on my mind. However theres nothing I can change by isolating myself from everyone so i suppose its better to be distracted and try and still enjoy the days as much as possible! I think in my area they may consider the treatment on the day as there was a reference to my treatment in the letter so as as precaution I've booked the whole day off and luckily been able to confide in my boss about whats going on. I think the procedure doesnt scare me so much,more what they might find, but I keep trying to remind myself even if its the worst case scenario its better to know x