Should I be worried?

Hi there. I recently paid for a smear test as I had a episode of bleedinh after sex. The doctor didn't seem worried as I had a normal smear last aug. I got the results a few weeks ago and it came back borderline changes and hpv. My question is if I was to have cervical cancer ( which is my biggest concern ) would my results be much differenT? Does the fact I had a normal smear last year nake this unlikely? Also the cells were squamous cells? What's the difference between the two.. does this mean the cells on the outside aren't normal? It also said endocervical cells present- does this mean that the cells in the canal are healthy? Thank you for your reply in advance- Id really appreciate a bit of reassurance :-( xxx

Hi Hayley

I think having borderline changes it is highly unlikely to be cancer. Borderline changes means just that, they are neither nor abnormal at his stage, just slightly different and they need to investigated further. There are generally 4 levels of changes - borderline, CIN1 (mild changes), CIN2 (moderate changes) and CIN3 (severe changes). I would think being so low down on the scale that it would be very unlikely indeed to be cancer.

Squamous cells are the ones on the outer surface of the cervix and the endocervical ones are the ones from the canal.

I assume you will now be referred for a colposcopy where they can take a further look under a microscope and perform some tests and biopsies if those tests reveal any further abnormalities. If the colposcopy confirms just borderline, they will just then leave ou and check on you more regularly, as it is likely your body will clear these changes and the HPV on its own.

Hope this helps.

Erika x

Hi Hayley

If there's high risk HPV present, you will get asked to go for a colposcopy. It's important to remember that the smear is just that, a small smear of cells off the surface of your cervix. At the colposcopy , they can have a really good look, and if anything looks a bit abnormal, take a biopsy or two to be sure.

Because the smear is such a small sample, it is less accurate than a proper biopsy, so you might find that after the colposcopy, they confirm that there are in fact CIN1 or CIN2 changes (as there were in my case).

As Erika said, you're probably in the least likely bracket to turn out to have cancer - it would have developed from severe changes if that were the case, and it's likely that yours are at the mild end of the spectrum. You'll no doubt get a letter soon inviting you for a colposcopy. Mine came about a week after my smear results I think. Don't worry, it's not too bad, not much different from a smear really.

Good luck


Hi again Hayley, I get the feeling from this and your other posts that there's not much we can say to help put your mind at ease so my suggestion would be to have a chat with your gp who can explain the results to you, it might feel more reassuring coming from a professional. It's easy to think the worst but you really don't need to in your case, especially as you know you don't have hpv 16 or 18 which are the strains that can turn in to cancer. Borderline changes is the lowest abnormal result you can have and is not cancer. The colposcopy is just to take a closer look and determine whether they need to treat the abnormal cells or if they'll go back to normal on their own. It's natural to be worried and the waiting is horrible :(. I really hope this is all over for you soon. How long until your colposcopy? Xxx

thank you so much for your replies and yes your right I know I'm getting myself stupidly anxious over it all... I really appreciate your replies and I'm starting to feel more rational about IT all now :-)

my colposcopy is on 5th oct which seems ages away Atm but will soon come round im sure. Xxx

Glad your feeling a bit better :). It is a terrifying time and that is a very long wait so I really feel for you but that suggests they're not concerned at least :). They usually have a number on the colp letter so if you find yourself getting upset or anxious definitely ring them because they're really good at reassuring you :) xxx