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Your feelings may change over time

Most women gradually find ways that help them deal with what's happening to them and their feelings about their diagnosis often change over time [1] [2].

Information can be key in how you move on from your diagnosis. The realisation that having abnormal cells does not mean that you have cervical cancer is a milestone for many women, as is finding out that cervical abnormalities are common and affect many other women.

Many women find that being better informed, for example understanding what the treatment procedures will be like, and what the benefits and possible side effects could be, helps them regain control of their situation and reduces their anxiety.

Some women come to accept the diagnosis as just something that happens to some women, while others remain scared about the future. It's perfectly normal if you continue to have mixed emotions – feeling anxious, overwhelmed and sad one minute, and calm and untroubled the next.

Vicki’s Story

VickiVicki shares her experience of being diagnosed with cervical abnormalities and the mixture of feelings it raised in her and her partner:

‘I was initially upset, but was then fine. My partner, on the other hand, was a wreck! He was upset, stressed and always thinking the worst.’

Read more of Vicki’s story here.


1. Korfage IJ et al., 2014. How distressing is referral to colposcopy in cervical cancer screening? Gynecologic Oncology 132, 142–148.

2. Maissi E et al., 2005. The psychological impact of human papillomavirus testing in women with borderline or mildly dyskaryotic cervical smear test results: 6-month follow-up. British Journal of Cancer 92, 990–994.



Date last updated: 
22 Jan 2016
Date due for review: 
26 Jan 2019

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