Three years untreated

In 2016 I was diagnosed as high risk hpv with precancerous cells. At the time I was pregnant. They scheduled me for a colposcopy but for some reason or another I didn’t make the appointment. (I don’t remember why). I go for a Pap smear next week on Friday to look into this. I called my doctor today and asked what my risks were going that long untreated and they said “it should have been taken care of in 2016, you were already high risk at that point”. So honestly, I’m just a bit freaked out. Three years is a long time to leave it untreated. I honestly forgot about it. Had a very hard pregnancy. Life after the baby was hard as well due to health complications he was having. I should have thought about myself a little more but it seems my focus was primarily on my baby and other kids. I guess I’m wondering what the chances really are of progressing into cancer in 3 years time of not getting anything done about it. 

There are probably very few people who can share a similar experience with you,  but unfortunately (due to not being notified of a smear result in 2015) I'm one of them. My high grade pre cancerous cells went untreated for three years too, when I should have had a colposcopy within two weeks.

My gynaecologist was optimistic that the cells wouldn't have become cancerous, as it takes up to ten years for changes to get to that point. Unfortunately, mine had made that leap,  and I was diagnosed with cancer. I'm currently recovering from a total hysterectomy as a result. 

I can't say that it's definitely  going to be ok,  but there is a chance that they may not have become cancerous. You won't know until you have a colposcopy- is one scheduled? I don't see why you would need another smear, smears don't find cancer. You should progress with colposcopy as if it was 2016? 

I really hope you get seen soon and your fears are allayed. Perhaps other members will have more positive stories which will reassure you. 

Hope all goes well 

Thank you for your honest reply. I didn’t think I would find anyone who went as long as I have without getting it taken care of. Though your answer scares the daylights out of me, I needed to hear it. I wasn’t sure if there was a chance or not. I’m sorry yours turned out to be cancerous. I hope your recovery from the hysterectomy is quick and as pain free as possible.

My smear is scheduled for Friday. The nurse today said that they would be scheduling the colposcopy on Friday when I’m in the office. I asked if I could go ahead and schedule so I could get in faster but she said let’s wait until Friday. They would be able to squeeze me in sooner depending on what day the doctor would like to have it done. Like you, I wonder why we couldn’t just pick up where we left off.

I’m hoping for good results and trying to be optimistic. I really needed to know if there was a chance or not of things progressing. You summed that up for me. There is a chance. And there’s also a chance that they didn’t do a thing. I really appreciate you sharing your experience! It has been stuck on my mind and as the appointment day gets closer, I’ve just wanted an honest opinion if I should be worried at all or not. I think it’s ok to worry a little. I at least don’t feel silly for worrying now. 

Update: I went to my smear today and my doctor said it still looked abnormal to her. Waiting on results which will be in by next week. She went ahead and scheduled the colposcopy for a couple weeks out thinking I will need one and wanted to get me in ASAP. Will cancel if things come back normal but she said she highly doubts that will be the case. She plans to take 3-4 cells I guess for a biopsy. She also said since I’m a smoker, that may have increased my chances of cervical cancer along with not getting it taken care of for three years. She said it’s hard to know how long I had the HPV before diagnosed in 2016. She told me not to worry until we figure out what the biopsy shows. But also said she wanted to be 100% honest with me that there is a chance that the precancerous cells progressed. The waiting is the hardest part. Nervous. 

Smoking is the next biggest risk factor after HPV. It supresses the body's ability to clear the virus.  Does your hospital have specialist help to support you in quitting?  It would be very beneficial for you whatever the outcome of these current tests so you should seek what support you can. I hope everything is not as bad as you fear. Good luck. 

 

Thank you for the good luck! I live in a small town. Our hospital doesn’t offer anything like they but I have been to see my regular doctor. I was recently put on Chantix but was getting terrible nightmares from it. I have another appointment coming up to see about trying something different with my regular doctor. In the meantime, I bought an electronic cigarette with a small dose of nicotine. Wanted to try and ween myself off that way while I wait for the next option from the doctor. It’s harder than I thought it was going to be to quit. I figured the chantix was going to make me stop but the dreams were so real. I was waking my husband up though the night. We both decided I needed to try a different option. It’s an ugly habit and I had already planned to quit before my gynecologist told me that it upped the risk of Cervical cancer. That gave me an extra push though. The electronic cigarette has helped to decrease the amount of actual ciggerettes I smoke. Went from half a pack a day down to 5 a day along with the ecig. My husband is picking me up a 0mg of nicotine electronic ciggerette this afternoon. And I hope decrease down to 3 a day with the help of the 0mg ecig. And hopefully soon just use the 0mg ecig until I can be done for good. Bought lots of sugar free hard candies and suckers. I have more self will to quit now since my appointment. It’s a terrible habit. I’ve been a smoker for 12 years. Making great improvement. But ready to just be done all together. 

I had the same with chantix years ago... couldn't cope with the dreams and I started to feel unwell on the drug.  I tried e cigarette in the past but to be honest I had the best results from NiQuitin clear patches.  I didn't turn grumpy and horrible ... husband hasn't divorced me and I'm about smoke free :o)

Good luck and well done.  It's so difficult but such an achievement when you know you're almost there :o)

Take care

xx

Really pleased to hear that you are doing so well with the smoking. That's not to say you should feel guilty about choices you made in the past but doing something constructive to help yourself in the future is always a positive step. 

Bad things can happen no matter how well we look after ourselves. We all make mistakes too. I've never smoked but still got cancer twice. But when I look at my poor old body covered in scars with two swinging bags attached to my tummy I always feel really glad that at least I don't have to beat myself up about it. 

So what I'm saying is it could have happened anyway so don't beat yourself up either. All the same it's a good idea not to volunteer yourself as first in line for a recurrence.

Karen