Hi. Q about Smear results

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Hi I’m new here and have been  panicking since receiving my smear results 3 days ago. I just wanted to ask a question really.
The results stated that I was HPV positive and abnormal cells were found so I was going to be sent an urgent coloscopy appointment for treatment in the next two weeks. I phoned the dr up to see if she could explain to me the ‘abnormal cells result’ and how abnormal they are. All she was basically saying was they are ‘suggestive of cancer’. This has now sent me into a blind panic as from what I’m reading online everyone’s smear results letter states the grade of the abnormal cells (borderline, mild,severe) and mine does not. Does this mean they know it’s cancer?

has anyone had their results where it didn’t state the grade of the cells

I got my coloscopy appointment the day after I received the smear results and it’s next week 

thanks for reading 

  • and welcome to the group.

    I hope I can maybe try to reassure you a little about the process and help stop you worrying so much. 

    The hpv virus is what causes the abnormal cells, but a smear test is not a diagnostic test for cancer. The test first is to check for hpv and then for abnormal cells, but it cannot say what these cells are, which is why you need the colposcopy. Your dr doesn’t know what the cells are, so it’s surprising you’ve been told they are suggestive of cancer at this point. They may have seen something which looked very abnormal but you need more tests to know just how abnormal.

    At the colposcopy, you will have a liquid applied to your cervix which will highlight any areas of abnormal cells and you may have a punch biopsy taken which will be sent to be analysed. The colposcopy will determine the level of abnormal cells and then you will be told what level of CIN is present. The colposcopy result can differ from the smear as the smear is just a sweep of the cervix and the colposcopy is more detailed.

    The only thing which can definitively state cancer is a biopsy. At least your appointment has come through quickly and you will be seen and have this investigated. Hopefully this will confirm that you have abnormal cells which are precancerous and can be removed. There is always a chance of course that it could be cancer, but try not to jump the gun with this.

    I hope it all goes well with your appointment and you come back and let us know how you get on.

    Sarah xx


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  • Thankyou for the fast and reassuring reply. Blush
    yes, I’m  glad I’ve got my colposcopy soon. It was just those two things which sent me down a rabbit hole..no grade of cells on the letter which everyone seemed to know and what the dr said.I’m just so worried as I have a few symptoms even though I had a clear smear test three years ago

    just have to wait for Wednesday now

    thankyou again x 

  • Try not to be too worried till you know more, although I understand that’s difficult. Smears are unfortunately not a guarantee of nothing being wrong, even if they are clear, so it’s always possibly for there to be something there. Even though people are told cervical cancer is very slow growing, no tests are 100% accurate. Hopefully things will be ok for you though. Do you mind me asking what symptoms you’re having? Gynaecological symptoms can be so many things, and not always cancer.

    Sarah xx


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  • Yes of course. I have been having dull lower backache, stomach pains and pain during sex.

    thanks again for your reply x

  • Cervical cancer tends to cause pain in the pelvis, low down, rather the stomach. Typically doctors would say that abnormal cells should not cause any pain in themselves, but a lot of ladies do report pain. It’s so very hard to guess at anything in advance of a specialist taking a look, but your pains could have a less serious explanation. If you are told there would be treatment next week, that suggests a LLETZ procedure for the removal of abnormal cells. But IF it is cancer, hopefully it has been caught at a very early stage. The waiting period to find out more is always very hard for everyone.

    Sarah xx


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  • Hello, to Sully5… I thought I would chime in and give my story. I have written here before but I will quickly share again. My cervical issue began in late 2019 with random spotting. I was 67 at the time. As usual I went for my PAP Smear and the PAP Smear did come back as normal but when my GP was completing he examination, she noticed a darker mark inside the cervix. It was decided that she would refer me to a gynaecologist for further examination. The gynaecologist took two biopsies; the cervix and the uterus. The uterus came back normal but the cervix came back as a high-grade SIL CIN 3 (cervical intraepithelial neoplasia). The recommendation was to have a LEEP procedure, to remove the the affected tissue.  Once the procedure was done I waited another six months and again I had a cervix biopsy. Great news…it came back clear. I went back again six months later for another biopsy and the results were SIL CIN 3. Another LEEP procedure. The wait between receiving the biopsy results and the LEEP was about 4 weeks. While the LEEP procedure is not the worst, it does worry mean that within a year, there was re-growth. Apparently, this is quite normal. Some women can have up to 5 LEEP procedures. In Manitoba, Canada, a woman must have two clear biopsy’s before she is returned to her regular doctor for PAP Smears. I am very uncomfortable with this since the Smear in 2019 came back normal but in actuality there was abnormal growth. The PAP did not pick this up. This could happen again to me. We are now in 2022 and I had a normal biopsy result in June. I have another appointment in December. I hope my story gives you another woman’s perspective. I feel blessed that in Canada, women are still encouraged to get a PAP every 2 years even at age 70.

  • Hi, 

    I do hope you are well. 
    I have received the same letter as you and wondered what your results when you went if you don’t mind sharing please. 
    concerned as no grade given and the GP said she doesn’t have a grade on her information but just said go the urgent appointment.
    thanks  

  • Hi  

    I’m not sure who you were asking about their results, but I haven’t seen  posting in the last 6 months and she  did not come back to say what her results were so you may not receive a reply from her. I’m assuming you have been asked to go for a colposcopy because abnormal cells were found during a smear test-is that correct?

    If so, it is at the colposcopy that the level of abnormal cells would be identified once there is a closer examination of your cervix. I hope you don’t have long to wait for your appointment and that it can give you some reassurance. Please feel free to ask any more questions if you need to. Now that I have tagged  she may see this and respond, but I didn’t want your post to go unanswered in case she doesn’t look at the group any longer. 


    Sarah xx


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  • Hi Sarah, 

    Thank you for your reply. 
    Yes that’s correct. I have had hpv for a number of years now and received a letter to say abnormal cells changes were found that require treatment. I have an urgent colposcopy booked.  
    I was more concerned as no grade was given, all my previous letter have said what grade. I saw the previous post when looking it up online and thought I would ask. 

    Thanks again for your reply 

    x

  • Hi  

    It can be difficult just from a smear test to assess the level of abnormal cells but the colposcopy will give a better picture.

    Have you had treatment for abnormal cells in the past? 

    Sarah xx


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