Post # 1
So, I just got a call from a nurse at Kaiser. She wanted to go over the results of my last Pap (2 months ago). She said they found “atypical cells”, but that it could be for a variety of reason, not neccessarily cancer. It could be my age (40), or close to my period, or if I had intercourse, etc.. She said, “We consider this a ‘normal’ result, we’ll see you at your next Pap in 3 years.”
3 years? Atypical is normal? And if this is “normal”, why CALL me to give me my results?
Post # 3
@itsmle: Um that doesn’t sound right. The protocol for an atypical pap should be a follow-up in 6 months and/or a colposcopy. I’d call your doctor or another for a second opinion. 3 years is much too long to wait unless the results were normal, which they weren’t!
Post # 4
It sounds like ASCUS (atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance). You can have these cells due to hpv or due to other stuff like having sex or being on your period or being stressed out.
Have you ever tested positive for HPV? Did she mention if they tested as part of your pap?
If you are HPV negative ASCUS isn’t really something to worry about… but I think the current suggestion is to at least have a pap every other year! Annually is too much, the authorites have decided, but I’ve never heard of every 3 years!
Post # 5
- Wedding: August 2013 - Brookfield Zoo
I’m younger so don’t know if the protocol is different, but when I received an abnormal test result, my doctor had me do paps every 6 months for two years. Perhaps there are different levels of “abnormal”??
Post # 6
My friend had an abnormal pap seven years ago and she just found out yesterday she has
cervical cancer. I wouldnppt want to wait if it were me.
Post # 7
3 yrs is too long. my gyno makes me come back in 3 months since my atyical turned into high risk hpv and pre cancerous cells. i would insist on going back sooner.from my experience, it simply is too long to wait.
Post # 8
Hm. I have had atypical/abnormal paps on and off for about six years now. Because if this I have to followup every six months with the Pap smear. Now when it’s abnormal you usually need to repeat it (in 6 months) and have a colposcopy. I know she said its “normal” but 3 years seems a bit long. I always thought even with normal paps you are supposed to follow up once a year (at least that’s what I thought)
Post # 9
@itsmle: Atypical means they could be abnormal but they aren’t sure. I would not be content with leaving it for 3 years. I had a low grade abnormality last year, and my doctor said we could either leave it and see what happens, or he could refer me to my gyn for a colposcopy – which I opted to do just for peace of mind. The area was so small that he removed it all with the biopsy, and I’m due for another colposcopy at the end of this year just to check.
It’s your health and you have a say in your treatment – if you want to see a specialist, you have a right to ask for a referral to one. Or if you want to have another pap in 6 months, do that. But I definitely wouldn’t leave it for 3 years.
Post # 10
I had an abnormal one last summer, they had me come back 6 months later, the second one was normal, and now they’re having me come back again (another 6 months later) to rule out a “false normal” and then if the 3rd one is normal, I will once again go back to annuals.
Post # 11
Apparently the “annual” suggestions for Pap changed. Now, at least with Kaiser (maybe due to my age) it’s only every 3 years. I’m going to ask to go back sooner, though. I could sit and wait for a year, but any longer with these results, doesn’t make me comfortable.
Thanks for the replies! I was scared.
Post # 12
According to my doctor Paps are recommended every year if you are on birth control and every 2-3 if you are not. I had abnormal cells and was required to come back every 6 months and was also tested for HPV. I recommend you do the same. In fact I learned that just about every single person that is sexually active has contracted some form on HPV. It usually goes away on its on without any symptoms so most people (men and women) are blissfully unaware until it turns into something that could potentially be more fatal (cancer).
Be smart and go back in six months. Better safe than sorry!
Post # 13
@ezasabc123: +1 – this sounds exactly what happened to me, but I was told to come back in 1 year. Either way, 3 years sounds like too long to me! Especially if you are going to be worrying about it that whole time.
Post # 14
@itsmle: My OB told me at my last visit that the longer length between paps (insurance will cover 1 every 3 years instead of annually) is due to Obamacare somehow, and is trying to reduce the cost of women’s care. He was livid about it.
I guess because they catch cancer in such a small percentage of pap tests that they feel if you do it less, only the minority are going to not have cancer and have it caught right away, and its usually still treatable in 3 years.
I think this is insane, I feel like if there is a 2% chance of anything bad, it WILL happen to me. So I had him go ahead with the pap smear, and I’ll be back next year. Insurance is still covering them annually i think through 2013 and then you will have to pay out of pocket. I’ll have to take out more FSA next year!