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Treated for precancerous cells of cervix. Have scar tissue covering cervix. Cervical cancer?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2012
Answered : 1038 Questions
I have been told that I have scar tissue covering my cervix due to a procedure to get rid of precancerous cells. Was told I have HPV am 61 years old and was prescribed estrogen creme to make it more pliable for the doctor to get to, but it has not helped. Iam concerned about cervical cancer because I have not been able to get a pap smear since 2011.
Posted Sun, 24 Mar 2013 in Women's Health
Answered by Dr. Achuo Ascensius 1 hour later

Thanks for the query.

HPV is associated with cervical cancer .You have been treated for precancerous lesions of the cervix, implies you still have a risk of developing it again.

Pap smear is a good work up in screening for cervical cancer and it is rather unfortunate that you have not had it for a while. However, there are other screening tests which could be used as substitutes.

Visual inspection tests with Lugol’s Iodine and acetic acid combined with colposcopy could also be used though their sensitivity will be reduced due to the scar tissue covering the cervix os; however, they could screen for local spread in case of full blown cancer.

Another option could be a biopsy. Biopsy is usually done as a follow up test to pap smear or visual inspection test but in your case, it might be considered on the first line due to the difficulty in getting a pap smear.

If the above tests are done, and if they are good, you might consider a hysterectomy which is removal of the whole uterus which will prevent you from ever having cervical or even uterine cancer.

Hope I have answered your query. If you have any further questions, I will be happy to help.

Hope this helps you.

Best regards,
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Treated for precancerous cells of cervix. Have scar tissue covering cervix. Cervical cancer? 16 hours later
Thank you Dr. Ascensius, however I think having a hysterectomy is rather extreme. I would rather not have one. Couldn't I just have a biopsy each year just like I would normally get a pap smear instead?
Answered by Dr. Achuo Ascensius 1 hour later

Thanks again,

A biopsy is a surgical procedure in which part of the body is cut and removed. Unfortunately, the healing process following cervical biopsy leads to scaring that may lead to
-difficulty in identifying abnormal cells later and
-abundant bleeding
thus the repeated biopsy will not be good enough.
Cervical biopsy however can act as a treatment option if once it is done, the limits are free of abnormal cells.

Hope I have answered your query.
If you do not need any further clarifications, you can close the discussion and rate the answer.

Best regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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