Fast Track Referral

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Went to GP with ongoing issues relating to menopause. Constant thrush, sore, itching and incontinence ongoing. Had smear three and half years ago am 59. All normal no HPV said low risk cervical cancer. Next one was due five years time. Had a speculum exam in February this year nothing noted on exam by GP. Have mirena coil for HRT purposes and on Oestrogel. So on recent GP appointment had speculum exam and she noted a small red lesion on cervix that looked like erosion/graze. Referred fast track. Seen yesterday and I was expecting a coloscopy to look closely at my cervix. Doctor just did speculum exam and noted the red area said it looked like erosion but was irregular in appearance, not a full ring of red. It was bleeding on contact. He took biopsy and as it was bleeding applied silver nitrate. He said he would arrange a scan just to check my womb etc for my piece of mind. He said he wasn’t worried. I have to wait four weeks for results. I’m not clear why a colonoscopy wasn’t done as I may have got more reassurance if he’d looked close up? I had very mild changes many years ago at 25, but cleared with laser and thankfully no problems since. Also if it was anything other than an erosion would it take a while to develop into anything as my last smear was clear 3.5 years ago. The doctor also noted on speculum exam I have thrush again. I have it constant and believe my hrt could be contributing. Gave me prescription for long term thrush treatment and vagifem to help with my other symptoms. I asked if okay to use prior to results and he said yes I’m not worried. I’m also waiting for a referral for my bladder too as I have white cells in my urine, but gp thinks contamination from thrush infections. Just feel so upset and worried. Also why didn’t he do coloscopy? I felt rushed at appointment. Four weeks a long time to wait when worrying. 

  • Hi   and welcome to our group.

    It’s difficult to guess at why you only had a visual examination with a speculum and it’s really only the doctor who could confirm the reason for this. However, you mention a biopsy was taken and that will be sent to the lab for analysis, which would have likely also happened with a colposcopy. 

    It sounds from what you’ve said that the doctor could see enough without the need for extra magnification, and it’s only a biopsy which could definitely confirm cancer. The fact that your doctor is not concerned at this point seems a positive thing, and he is just making sure that you have been checked thoroughly to rule anything other than an erosion out.

    A smear test is only a check for the presence of the hpv virus, so a clear test only means that the virus was not detected on your last smear 3.5 years ago. If the virus is not detected then cervical cells are not analysed, so in itself it’s not a test to diagnose cervical cancer. I don’t mean to suggest that you may have cancer of course, but your biopsy results will be more important than either a smear or a colposcopy. 

    I understand that it must feel a long time to wait for your results, but unfortunately waiting is a big part of any diagnostic process and in the post covid era backlogs can mean that things can take a little longer than before. It’s natural to worry when you are waiting, but usually that’s because you have this limbo period of time when you don’t know what you’re dealing with. 

    It’s best to try and keep yourself busy and distracted rather than let your thoughts run away with themselves because you don’t know anything for certain at the moment. I hope the medication you’ve been prescribed helps with your other symptoms, and please let us know how things go. Please also feel free to ask any questions, as we do understand how difficult this waiting is.

    Sarah xx

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