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  • I am a cancer survivor
  • This message is for Casey:

    I know its hard, but try to stay calm. You should make a list of all your questions beforehand and go through them one at a time with your doctor. If possible have your boyfriend go with you to your appointment because sometimes two people asking the questions is better than one. Each case is individual, and your doctor really needs to be the one to answer your question - because he is the one who knows your individual situation and he knows better than any of us do.

    That having been said,i will try to answer some of your questions until you can talk to your doctor. I think it is the case that a leep procedure can be completely successful in removing all the cancer cells. But they wont know this for sure until they actually do the procedure. If they think that the leep has removed all of the cancer (i think it often does), then they say that the \"margins\" of the tissue sample that they remove are \"clear\" - meaning that there are healthy cells surronding all of the cancer cells that they remove, so that none of the cancer is left in you.

    If the leep is successful in removing all the cancer, I believe it is the case that you will not need any other treatment, and so it should not cause a problem for having children. The affect of these type of procedures on your ability to have children depends on how much tissue they remove from your cervix - if they take away alot of your cervix, that can make it more difficult to carry a child. I think (but am not sure) that leeps generally remove less tissue than other procedures - especially if you just have one leep (some people have more than one). But even people who have have very invasive procedures - have even even had their whole cervix removed -can still go on to have children. So dont worry too much - this will probably not affect your ability to have children (but why dont you ask your doctor about it so he can reassure you?)

    But i also think it is the case that you will have to be very very careful, because dysplasia can come back. The leep procedure can actually remove the \"active\" HPV virus, but the hpv virus will always be in your body. Hopefully your own immune system will just suppress it so that it stays \"latent\" and does not cause problems again. But hpv could become active again, and then the dysplasia could come back or even worse progress to full blown cancer. So you will need to be sure not to miss any future pap appointments (and to make sure they test you for hpv) so that if it does ever come back you will find out about it as early as possible.

    Good luck and dont be afraid to stand up for yourself and ask the questions that you have - it is your doctors job to answer them!

    Laura
  • 08-03 -2009
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