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Pap smear showed changes in cells and tested positive for virus. Copolscopy to be done. Worrisome

DOCTOR OF THE MONTH - Sep 2012
Sep 2012
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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2008
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My wife got a letter saying that (1) her pap smear result discovered mild changes in cells and (2) that she tested positive for some sort of virus. She will be called back for a copolscopy. I am terrified, but she seems to handle it ok. I can't shake worries of a worst case scenario!
Posted Tue, 19 Feb 2013 in Women's Health
 
 
Answered by Dr. Das Arindam 29 minutes later
Hello,

Thank you for posting a query.

Look, in pap smear examination the exfoliated squamous cells are examined under microscope. In this test mild changes in cells indicate very early stage of a worrisome disease. But, there is time to prevent it.

Now, most importantly, human papilloma virus (HPV) is the culprit. It causes abnormal proliferation of cervical cells which leads to squamous cell abnormality.

But, considering your wife’s condition, it is very early stage. She must go for colposcopic examination. If required, biopsy should be taken. Depending upon the findings, next line of management can be decided.

For HPV infection and this type of cervical lesions, some modality of treatments are available like cryosurgery, loop electrosurgical excision procedure, surgical conization and laser conization. The best modality for her should be decided solely by her treating doctor.

So, there is lots of advancement in this field. You do not have to worry so much from right now. Just tell her to keep following up with her treating doctor.

Hope this information suffices. Let me know, if you have any more question.

Regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Pap smear showed changes in cells and tested positive for virus. Copolscopy to be done. Worrisome 15 minutes later
My wife was also in for a routine checkup with her Gyn on another matter. When she mentioned the abnormal pap the dr. said (without a colposcope): "well, to the naked eye the cervix looks undamaged". Is this further reassuring?
 
 
Answered by Dr. Das Arindam 10 minutes later
Hello,

Thank you for writing back.

Yes, this is further reassuring. Because, in case of more advanced disease condition, the naked eye examination must be alarming.

I can understand your situation. But try not to worry so much.

Hope you have your answers.

Regards.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Pap smear showed changes in cells and tested positive for virus. Copolscopy to be done. Worrisome 10 minutes later
OK, so just to confirm: Do you mean that this high anxiety level that I have over this information is unnecessary? And do you also claim that if nothing is visible to the naked eye, it can not be anything XXXXXXX or advanced at this point?
 
 
Answered by Dr. Das Arindam 27 minutes later
Hello,

Thank you for writing back.

Look, she is your wife. So, you will worry irrespective of my opinion. I just wanted to say that wait for the reports of other investigations and keep following up with her doctor.

As the naked eye examination is alright, the disease is in very early stage. The prognosis is very good if she follows her doctor.

That is all i can say at this stage.

Regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
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