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Was diagnoses with ASCUS and high risk HPV. How bad is this?

By May 21, 2012 - 10:20am
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I am a 31 year old woman with 2 kids. my most recent pap tests were in 2003, 2006,2009, and 2 this year in 2012. my first pap/hpv screening, in January 2012 showed that i was ASCUS, but negative for HPV so my doctor told me to come back in May for another pap/HPV test. I went on 5/2 to get screened again. Over a week later i was told via phone call from the nurse at my doctor's office that not only am i still ASCUS,but that i am now HPV positive. I have been very upset over this, and extremely worried. how likely is it that i have cervical cancer with these kind of results? how bad is this? Your help and info would be greatly appreciated.

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This is db981. I noticed that you referred to me as Anon so maybe that is how it is showing up on your screen. Both the questions about waiting a month and me being high risk hpv were from me. were you referring to me when you answered the questions? sorry for any confusion , and sorry to bug you again.

May 21, 2012 - 2:35pm

Also i am high risk HPV how bad can this get with A ASCUS pap result?

May 21, 2012 - 11:10am
HERWriter Guide (reply to db981)

Hi Anon

With regard to waiting a month, if you have a mild case, it's probably not too long. But you can always ask for an earlier date if possible.

With regard to your pap result - this is the initial finding- you can still have the high risk version of the virus. I know it sounds counter-intuitive.In other words, you are not facing cancer right now (your cells are only midly abnormal) but due to the kind of HPV virus you have, your risk is higher than average.

It's generally now thought that the HPV6 virus is the one that causes cervical cancer.

I hope this helps - please keep us updated and we're here for any other questions you might have. We also have a great page that's worth viewing - tons of questions, articles and information: http://www.empowher.com/condition/cervical-cancer


May 21, 2012 - 11:46am
HERWriter Guide

Hi db981

Thanks for your question.

In lay terms, ASCUS means that the cells in your cervix are showing to be abnormal, but to a mild extent. In other words, not cancerous. You do, however, have HPV, one of the most common STDs. HPV is a virus, mostly spread through sexual contact (vaginal/anal/oral) - skin to skin.

If your doctor has not ordered follow up tests, this generally means that you will need to get a pap test about every 6 months or so, to make sure that the mildly abnormal cells in your cervix do not turn cancerous. In the vast majority of cases, they do not. But there are still several thousand cases of cervical cancer diagnosed every year so watching waiting is advised.

The odds are in your favor but again, you will need testing about twice a year until you start getting clear pap results again. This could take 6 months to several years. There is no cure for HPV but in most women, it becomes dormant for life. In others, it can turn cancerous or genital warts can occur. There are many, many strains of HPV - some cause warts, some don't. Some are very high risk for cancer, some aren't. You need to ask your doctor about your particular diagnosis - ask what strain (s) you have. 

The reason you are ASCUS is likely due to your HPV+ status - so one led to the other. They are not two separate things.

Getting this diagnosis is very scary but with proper testing (as I mentioned above), the likelihood of getting actually cancer is very low.

Sitting down with your doctor so she can explain this to you needs to be done. Have your questions and a notepad ready.

I hope this information helps you and make sure you have a doctor or nurse spend time with you to explain your particular diagnosis with you so you can get some peace of mind/know where you stand.



May 21, 2012 - 10:57am
(reply to Susan Cody)

You have been very helpful. I am scheduled by my ob/gyn's office for a colposcopy around this time next month. Is that too long to wait?

May 21, 2012 - 11:08am
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