Is this possible?

So far I’ve just had an abnormal pap with stage 0 ( I think they refer to that as cin 3)

I just had my colposcopy on Wednesday so the long wait begins. 

The doctor said it didn’t look good and I was going to need treatment. She stated a hysterectomy with other treatments. 

So my question is can a Pap say cin 3 and your biopsy could actually show cancer? Or would it show what the pap showed? 

My doctor said once my biopsy comes back she was going to send me to a gyn oncologist. 

Hi Regena, 


Keep in mind that I think my experience is not the norm. I had a pap in July 2018 that came back as HSIL (CIN 2-3 range). At the colposcopy in October the specialist visibly noticed something that was off so I was biopsied for this. I was diagnosed within the week with AIS (adenocarcinoma in situ - it's glandular and sits higher up in the cervix so a bit more tricky for paps to pick up). They felt it probably was not yet invasive (still stage 0) but I was told the only definitive way to know was to remove the full area of cells and wait for the pathology. I ended up having a cone biopsy in December and was finally diagnosed with stage 1a1 adenocarcinoma. My doctor has also discussed a hysterectomy with me but I currently have clear margins so he also discussed some other possibilities. 


As you can see each time I went for an appointment the results were a little worse. From what I know, full cancer can be picked up directly on the pap or colposcopy. However, sometimes cells hide higher up or they do not manage to get a large enough sample. Paps also blindly take a sample of your cervix, so there is the potential to miss complete areas where there may be abnormal or cancer cells (as likely happened in my case). My understanding is that if your cell type is squamous then they are a little more accurate. Adenocarcinomas tend to be more rare and not caught as often on paps. They also grow deeper into tissue than squamous cells, so invasive cancer is sometimes not found until later. MRIs and other techniques are used to help with staging of cancers as well. I was told that mine was so early it would not be picked up on the machine. 


I am hoping your pathology comes back with some good news or at least the best news that it can be! Try not to worry, you will be treated and they have lots of options available now adays! 



Hi Regena,

Yes, that is perfectly possible. A pap test just takes a little scrape from the surface of your cervix. Imagine if you will that it is a little scrape from inside your mouth. There might be a crumb somewhere in your mouth left over from your last sandwich. It might not be in the part of your mouth that gets scraped and the crumb might remain in your mouth and not be scraped out. That's how a pap test works. If you have lots and lots of crumbs in your mouth then it is more likely that one will be found, but it is always perfectly possible to miss them. That is why it is so important to go regularly for your pap test.

Does that make any sense?

Be lucky :-)

Hi Regena,

Yes it is. I have mine as severe dyskariosis in papsmear result which is like CIN3. When they biopsied me, I am in CC Stage 12B, but mine is large tumor, like 3cm to 4cm which was seen in the MRI Scan. They started telling me it could be cancer when the gyne did a manual check on my cervix where she felt a rough patch area on my cervix due to my heavy bleeding. She said, before biopsy, it could be cancer because I got tumor and my results were abnormal. Then it was confirmed later by biopsy.

I hope you get good news from your results.


Hi may i know your symptoms?