Is it urgent?

Hey friends!

New here. I have a high-risk HPV and had a LEEP procedure done for precancerous cells 7 years ago.

I have a PAP appointment on the 7th, in 5 more days. I guess, why I’m here, is to ask if it’s important to get in right away with symptoms like this, or if I shouldn’t be so worried, and 5 days won’t make a difference.

I did call the nurse hotline but she seemed to think I could consider going in early to a walk-in to rule out infection - but didn’t really have clear thoughts on whether it would be urgent to go with regards to ‘If it’s cancer, is a few days going to make a difference?’ That’s really all I’m worried about. If it IS an infection (which it really doesn’t seem to be), then I don’t mind waiting the five days, but if, say, it’s cancer and going to spread in that time, I definitely want to know if I should go wait at the walk-in for hours to get in a few days earlier.

I have the same very faithful partner for 10 years and we both work at home; there’s literally no way we picked up anything new infection-wise.

Here are the symptoms I’ve had. (Sorry if TMI!) I don’t normally worry about this but I am both ‘high risk’ for cervical cancer, and have almost ALL the symptoms I can find out about, so it has me concerned! I’m 31.

Symptoms: (Sorry if TMI!) These came on REALLY suddenly about 3 days after the last irregular period.

-Normally, periods are extremely regular. (2 days cramps and medium/heavy flow; 2-3 days light flow with no cramps. Regular, without fail.) The last 2 periods have had irregular spotting for a few days before, with strong cramps, then extremely heavy flow (WAAY more than usual) and cramps for about 2-3 days, then another 2 days of light flow, with spotting for days afterwards.

-Pinkish discharge, especially after intercourse. Some blood spots as well.

-Pain with intercourse, feels like pressure near the cervix which is very unusual for me.

-Sharp pains on and off all day in right side (ovary area) for 2 days; then it seemed to be crampy pains in left side (ovary area) for about a day and pain in the cervix area/upper vagina area. (oct 28th-30th.)

-Irregular bowel movements (more frequent, looser) the past few days. Like, a lot more than usual. Was in 6 times yesterday.

-Slightly more discharge and again, pinkish at times. No strange odor or anything.

-Some back pain (lower middle) a few days ago, then SEVERE middle back pain and more pink discharge/cramping after intercourse. (was not rough at all, so no reason for pain!) It lasted for hours and I couldn’t fall asleep, felt like somebody was literally standing with a foot on my lower back.

-Period-like cramps this morning. Still having pinkish discharge. We were outside all morning so the cramps seem better now (around noon) but back is still feeling oddly stiff in the lower part.

Also, I’ve had VERY little appetite this whole time; approximately since the 28th of october. Usually, if I don’t eat breakfast I’m starving by about 10am, but I’ve gone a few days missing both breakfast and lunch and just don’t seem to be hungry at all, which is totally unusual for me. I did eat lunch just now (wasn’t hungry, but thought I should) and now am feeling a little off about having food in me. But, that could just be me stressing out.

Anyways, I guess I just wanted to touch base with other people about all this. Not sure if I should be worried enough to go in early (appointment is on the 7th, again, so its’ not THAT far away – but I don’t want to like… ‘let it spread’ if I might have cancer at a stage that might be time-sensitive.

I should say, I am NOT normally a worry-filled person; but I do pay attention to my body - and these symptoms are highly unusual for me. Being high-risk for cervical cancer with the high-risk HPV and a previous history of precancerous cells, I’m just concerned with all these symptoms that seem to check right off the list of ‘Advanced Cervical Cancer.’

Does anybody who has dealt with this type of cancer have experience with an apparently sudden onset of symptoms?

Thanks for reading my giant novel. Hope to hear from you.

Hello Jaren I don't have experience of your symptoms but you sound so worried that I think you should try to talk to a Doctor before your appointment just for your own peace of mind - you can still keep the appointment too but at least you can voice your concerns - could you phone your GP surgery for an urgent appointment tomorrow? 

Hi Jaren

I think you need to book an appointment with a doctor, sooner then later,  because you have gynae symptoms.  There are number of reasons which could explain these symptoms and I would guess you need referral to a gynaecologist.   I'm not a doctor but I really don't think waiting 5 days for your PAP is going affect your outcome, cancerwise - IF that's what it turns out to be.  But I can really empathsise with your concern.

The time line for the first part of my 'cancer journey' was as follows.  When I had my first post-menopausal bleed (fairly heavy bleed) I got an appointment with my GP the day after it happened, and I was put on a 'cancer pathway' with the intention that my symptoms should be  investigated within 2 weeks (I'm in the UK).  About 4 weeks after after that appointment I was diagnosed with cervical cancer - it turned out to be stage 2A with no node involvement (i.e. it hadn't spread).  My treatment started within 2 weeks of the diagnosis. I would add that, prior to the bleeding, I'd had an abnormal discharge for about 3 months before seeing a GP! 

Take care


Thank you -- I was going to wait it out but honestly things are still feeling very off to me, and being stressed about it (despite trying not to be) is interfering with how much work I'm actually able to get done at home.  Thanks for sharing your thoughts on it and your own experiences.

I really appreciate the replies -- it's good to feel like there are people out here that we can talk to, and of course I don't want to go talking to family or friends about these worries if I don't really know anything is wrong for sure.

I feel like you're right on the money - I have been trying to just 'ignore' it but the fact that I'm still having symptoms is very distracting and worrying so I might go in tomorrow morning and see if I can get a referral.

Just a heads-up -- went in for blood and urine work after a referral from the GP.  Still having lots of symptoms, so hoping to find out more once we go in for the PAP on the 7th.  I appreciate the replies so far - it really helped make me a little less stressed to have people here listening -- really hope everything's all good but to be honest, expecting something serious as my body has never behaved quite like this before.

Thank you.

Hey all.

Still having lots of symptoms -- I have the ultrasound in 5 more days. 

(Gonna put this here, I am describing some of the symptoms below so feel free to skip if you don't wanna hear all that body stuff).

I almost went to the ER yesterday (I told myself I would go in if things were still getting worse because it was getting quite serious -- I believe the abdominal swelling was causing blockages in my intestines and I had places in the intestine that were so swollen and painful to touch that I realize now they were likely in danger of rupturing -- glad I know now so I can be more careful.)  I had gone into the doctor again (another time) since, to get her to feel my abdomen and the painful lumps (they got MUCH MORE painful a few days later) but I was told it felt like gastrointestinal symptoms so I should eat more fiber.   (I honestly think this was the WRONG advice because I had such a complete blockage; I know now from reading a bit more that fiber can actually make a blockage worse).

Luckily, the swelling was a little less that day (I drank SO MUCH water the night before, couldn't stop feeling like I just was so empty on water) so I did end up having a bowel movement later in the afternoon (after 5 days of nothing.. crazy.. I never go that long.)

Anyways, I was happy symptoms were getting better but things seem to be getting worse again; swelling is coming back and it's almost constant lower back pressure now.  Lots of other stuff going on, I guess at some point if it DOES come back as cancer I'll write it all out in a big post in case it helps someone, but for now, I can just summarize the more recent symptoms if anyone is interested.  Just waiting for that ultrasound now. 

-Increasing abdominal swelling; it was getting worse in evenings and a little better in the mornings but then eventually was just bad ALL the time, worse every day, couldn't sleep in the worst few nights.  Sharp pains to touch in some places, likely because of a blockage, which I think may be because of the swelling.  (I didn't get constipated until the abdominal swelling got REALLY BAD).

-Flushing red in strange places -- very hot and red to touch in those places -- once was my whole face -- and a few times on breasts and forearms. I found this quite unusual and concerning when it popped up. 

-Breasts swelling up as if period is happening .. but it shouldn't be this soon in the month for me if I'm calculating correctly - so I'm treating this as 'normal' and just hoping it's not some additional symptom.  The swelling, honestly, seems WORSE than usual and breasts have been kind of hot where they're swollen.  Hope it's not some extra hormonal effect.

-On and off low-grade fever; it seems to be mostly normal the past few days.

-Pains in cervix randomly, and when checked with a self-exam,  the cervix was VERY hard and immoveable -- and later, because I had felt it, I believe this was the trigger for more bloody discharge for the rest of the day -- which is honestly what scares me the most - that's not a normal thing, and just piled up with all these other symptoms it has me highly concerned.

Anyways, been trying to relax and not think about it too much, but it's hard when things keep happening that are new.  Tonight has been extreme diarrhea (which, honestly, is a relief because at least things aren't blocked up anymore) but the abdominal swelling is still making me feel huge.  I can still feel pretty big masses in the abdomen that I'm fairly sure aren't normally there, but I have to wait for this ultrasound as the doctor couldn't feel anything unusual.

I also had been checking my lymph nodes in the groin just to be thorough, and they were fine for a while, but then the right one definitely was noticibly swollen and hard for a few days.  Then, it got bigger and a little harder to feel (because it had gotten bigger, I think; it just feels more like regular tissue now but I can still tell it's noticeably bigger than the left side, and because I had been following it's progression, I can FEEL that it's still swollen - but the doctor felt it when it was already fat/swollen and not when it was obviously small and hard and protruding so she didn't notice anything out of the ordinary -- and I'm no doctor, so I can only hope she's right and what I'm feeling is in my head.

Anyways, really hoping all is just normal and all that and I hope everything turns out smooth but if I'm being honest, it's fairly worrysome to me.

Thanks for reading -- again, I don't know if anything's really wrong at all, and maybe it's all just a big misunderstanding, but I appreciate that this group is here and I hope whatever happens here that maybe I might also be able to help somebody else with their own symptoms of whatever it is that ends up going on here.

Hey friends.  Just had the ultrasound today... to be honest the technician looked calm and friendly until we started, and then she looked extremely concerned while trying to keep a straight face, and took about a million pictures (pelvic and abdominal both) which seemed to take a very long time, then stated the GP would call in 1-2 days, and told me if he didn't call, that I should call him by Monday.

Not sure what's up, but hopefully find out soon.

Hello Jaren how are you? Glad you went to your GP - Have you had your scan results? Big hugs!