(0)
0 Items £0.00

Can a biopsy really tell if cancer is invasive?

16 posts / 0 new
Last post
s0610770
Can a biopsy really tell if cancer is invasive?

Newly diagnosed and of course freaking out.  I had a colposcopy with an endocervix curettage and cervix post-up biopsy.  The biopsy came back invasive endocervical adenocarcinoma. I am wondering how a lab result can tell that the adenocarcinoma is invasive just from one biopsy? I will be meeting with an oncologist next week to discuss further steps but am just confused at the moment as to weather I definitely have invasive cancer or if it could possibly still be in situ! Thank you ladies for taking the time to read my question!!! 

Memagh

Hi,

Sorry you find yourself here. Everyone of us will tell you that these early days really are the worst and believe it or not it actually gets easier once you know what you are dealing with. I'm not an expert on biopsies but I do know they are usually very accurate at staging cancers. Cancer in situ and some stage one cancers can usually be removed with surgery but bulky stage 1 tumours and anything higher is usually treated with chemoradiation and brachytherapy (internal radiation). I was told I definitely had cancer before the tissue sample had even been sent for biopsy. This convinced me that I was very late stage. When the results from biopsy came back I was staged 1b2 and I have now just received 'no evidence of cancer' at my first three month scan following chemo and radio. Ask any questions you need to. There is an amazing bunch of ladies on here always willing to help if they can. Best of luck going forward. 
x Maria

Diagnosed CC 01st August 2019 Stage 1b2 with 1 local lymph node involved. Something else showed up on pet scan. Treatment delayed for surgery, done on September 9th. Found to be a simple ovarian cyst, 1 ovary and tube removed. Treatment plan 5 chemo, 25 radio and 4 brachy. Treatment start date 02nd October 2019. Treatment end date 8th November.

10th February 2020

MRI and Pet-CT clear. NED

3 monthly scans

 

s0610770

Thank you Maria! The not knowing is absolutely the worst part of the whole thing. I'll feel much better when we have a plan. I guess the whole biopsy part just confuses me and I'm having a hard time with the cancer label. To me Cancer In Situ doesn't feel like real cancer so I was holding out hope that the biopsy was wrong when it said "invasive"

Memagh

I know it's a hell of a lot to take in. We've all been where you are now and know the terrible feeling of waiting for staging. If they find that the cancer is invasive they will more than likely offer chemo and external and internal radiation. It's not a walk in the park but very doable. I'm in touch with a lovely group of ladies on here who started treatment around the same time as me and although it's early days, all our 3/6 month scans have come back as clear of cancer. 

X

Diagnosed CC 01st August 2019 Stage 1b2 with 1 local lymph node involved. Something else showed up on pet scan. Treatment delayed for surgery, done on September 9th. Found to be a simple ovarian cyst, 1 ovary and tube removed. Treatment plan 5 chemo, 25 radio and 4 brachy. Treatment start date 02nd October 2019. Treatment end date 8th November.

10th February 2020

MRI and Pet-CT clear. NED

3 monthly scans

 

Harvitt

Cancerous cells have Been found. They can't tell me anything else over the phone. I asked what type of cells, how fast, stage... The nurse refused to answer my questions. Is this normal?

 The mri was even more scary now knowing what they're looking for. Waiting for a PET scan. Praying it is manageable.

06 Jan 20 massive bleed. 7 feb 20 smear came back highly differentiated severe dyskolious. 14 Feb biopsies taken. 21st Feb cc cells found. 22 Feb 20 told poorly differentiated squamous cell. 28 Feb staged at 2a. Tumour is 2.4mm/9mm 6 March restaged at 3c due to 3 lymph node involvement - x1 2cm. 12 Mar 20 met oncologist - told me coronavirus will probably kill me before cc does. 18 March 20 pre scan booked.
Kittens Mittens

Hi Harvitt,

In my limited experience to date, it is completely normal to not be told anything over the 'phone. I doubt the nurses have the authorisation to divulge much, if anything, and I'm sure the medical team feel that it's better to give people news/information face-to-face in a hospital environment. Try not to alarm yourself that this is anything unusual, as I don't believe it is.

Wishing you all the very best.

KM x

  • 18-Jan-20 High-risk HPV and high-grade abnormal cells
  • 29-Jan-20 Colposcopy and biopsy
  • 07-Feb-20 Cervical cancer diagnosis
  • 11-Feb-20 MRI
  • 12-Feb-20 CT
  • 21-Feb-20 Grade 2 adenocarcinoma stage 1B1 or 2A1.
  • 05-Mar-20 EUA - stage 1B1 confirmed.
  • 09-Mar-20 Abdominal radical hysterectomy
Harvitt

Thank you for replying. 

06 Jan 20 massive bleed. 7 feb 20 smear came back highly differentiated severe dyskolious. 14 Feb biopsies taken. 21st Feb cc cells found. 22 Feb 20 told poorly differentiated squamous cell. 28 Feb staged at 2a. Tumour is 2.4mm/9mm 6 March restaged at 3c due to 3 lymph node involvement - x1 2cm. 12 Mar 20 met oncologist - told me coronavirus will probably kill me before cc does. 18 March 20 pre scan booked.
WendyJE

The gynaecologist I saw told me I had cervical cancer purely from my symptoms and just after she'd taken the biopsy.  I realise now that she was so experienced that she knew by looking.  The biopsy took a few days to come back but she admitted me that first day and had MRI and CT scans arranged in the next couple of days.  She confirmed the biopsy was adenocarcinoma and chemorad would be most appropriate.  I saw the oncology team one week later and started chemo the week after that, so two weeks from initial clinic to starting chemo.  My PET scan was actually after my first chemo session but confirmed everything they'd found so far that it was cervix and one lymph node with no spread anywhwere else.  Staging was 2b but I had to ask that at one of my follow up appts as they didn't volunteer a stage.  The waiting part is horrendous but once you know what you're dealing with and get started on treatment it will all be a lot easier to deal with.

No missed or abnormal smears. Odd symptoms started in April 19.

Diagnosed with Adenocarcinoma 2b with one lymph node involved on 1/7/19.

Started 11 weeks of chemo on 15/7/19.

Started 25 external radiotherapy on 26/8/19.

2 brachytherapy and end of treatment on 6/10/19. 

 

Harvitt

Thank you. I'm petrified I'm going to die, It's spread and I'm stage 4. I have got invasive cells and I haven't had a smear for years. I think I've missed at least 3 to 5. How long has it been growing there? How big is the tumour? I've got 3 children and a mother who is severely brain damaged. I'm the fixer and now I need fixing. 

06 Jan 20 massive bleed. 7 feb 20 smear came back highly differentiated severe dyskolious. 14 Feb biopsies taken. 21st Feb cc cells found. 22 Feb 20 told poorly differentiated squamous cell. 28 Feb staged at 2a. Tumour is 2.4mm/9mm 6 March restaged at 3c due to 3 lymph node involvement - x1 2cm. 12 Mar 20 met oncologist - told me coronavirus will probably kill me before cc does. 18 March 20 pre scan booked.
WendyJE

It's a really tough time for you but try and stay positive and deal with it a little bit at a time without letting your head jump too far ahead. When you have a treatment plan it will hopefully feel like you've got a bit more control and just focus on that. You sound like a strong woman, you will deal with this x

No missed or abnormal smears. Odd symptoms started in April 19.

Diagnosed with Adenocarcinoma 2b with one lymph node involved on 1/7/19.

Started 11 weeks of chemo on 15/7/19.

Started 25 external radiotherapy on 26/8/19.

2 brachytherapy and end of treatment on 6/10/19. 

 

emmz13

Hey Harvitt,

I just wanted to say hello, I'm sorry you find yourself here, it's just a horrendous time and the waiting is awful. I was the same as Wendy and Maria at my Colposcopy my consultant pretty much told me I had cancer and rushed my biopsy through. 
Try not to panick and spend too long googling things, I let myself get far too carried away with everything and it did me no favours. As hard as it is try to stay positive and be kind to yourself, a lot of women put everyone else above themselves but now you need to fully focus on you, accept any help offered and do anything that you need to get through this, we're always avaliable if you need anything, advice, a rant. Without these amazing ladies I wouldn't have gotten through the last 7 months. 
loads of love xxx 

May 19 odd symptoms

03/06/19 doctors appt internal exam, said everything looked fine, did smear. 

10/06/19 urgent colposcopy due to HPV positive and severe changes. 

21/06/19 consultant sees 2cm tumour takes punch biopsies. She’s pretty sure it’s cc.

24/06/19 cancer confirmed, grade 3 preliminary staging 1b.

03/07/19 X-ray. 08/07/19 MRI and PET scan. 10/07/19 MDT meeting

15/07/19 restaged 2b parametrial invasion no lymph node involvement.

16/07/19 treatment 5 1/2 weeks chemorads

18/07/19 planning MRI 26/07/19 preassessment Chemo

05/08/19 chemorads start

11/09/19 chemorads end!!!! 

16/09/19 Brachy

19/09/19 DONE!!!! 

Memagh

Hi Harvitt,

Once biopsy results are back they are usually reviewed by the MDT (multi displinary team) before they will give you your stage. I found out the MDT team meets at my hospital on a Wednesday at 3pm. I let my Macmillan nurse know (she sits in at the MDT meeting) that I would like to be contacted right away with results over the phone. She agreed to do this and told me not to expect a call before 5pm as this is how long the meeting is to discuss several cases. I didn't want my children around when I received the call and this allowed me to make arrangements. Also I didn't have to wait around for an appointment to tell me. Other people may feel better about being told face to face but I was happy to hear as soon as they had results and a plan for treatment. We've all had that horrible feeling of complete doom and not eating or sleeping right but soon you're going to be on your way to beating this. 

X Maria

Diagnosed CC 01st August 2019 Stage 1b2 with 1 local lymph node involved. Something else showed up on pet scan. Treatment delayed for surgery, done on September 9th. Found to be a simple ovarian cyst, 1 ovary and tube removed. Treatment plan 5 chemo, 25 radio and 4 brachy. Treatment start date 02nd October 2019. Treatment end date 8th November.

10th February 2020

MRI and Pet-CT clear. NED

3 monthly scans

 

Harvitt

Thank you. 

06 Jan 20 massive bleed. 7 feb 20 smear came back highly differentiated severe dyskolious. 14 Feb biopsies taken. 21st Feb cc cells found. 22 Feb 20 told poorly differentiated squamous cell. 28 Feb staged at 2a. Tumour is 2.4mm/9mm 6 March restaged at 3c due to 3 lymph node involvement - x1 2cm. 12 Mar 20 met oncologist - told me coronavirus will probably kill me before cc does. 18 March 20 pre scan booked.
Harvitt

The nurses that I've been assigned just aren't very warm and have the softness of a rhino. Too young. I feel that they see me as a patient with worries and questions but that's it. They don't see me as a very worried... Terrified lady, who is a primary care giver to three young chikdren and who has a mum, who she's fought tooth and nail for for 2 years to live after being misdiagnosed and left to die for 11 days which resulted in severe brain damage from a cold sore on the brain. 

06 Jan 20 massive bleed. 7 feb 20 smear came back highly differentiated severe dyskolious. 14 Feb biopsies taken. 21st Feb cc cells found. 22 Feb 20 told poorly differentiated squamous cell. 28 Feb staged at 2a. Tumour is 2.4mm/9mm 6 March restaged at 3c due to 3 lymph node involvement - x1 2cm. 12 Mar 20 met oncologist - told me coronavirus will probably kill me before cc does. 18 March 20 pre scan booked.
emmz13

Hey lovely,

it sounds like life is tough enough without all this extra stress and worry. The original nurse at my colposcopy was condescending and really made me feel worse, it really made a terrible situation worse. Are there any Macmillan nurses you could talk to about your concerns and they could maybe have a word. I know that some of my radiographers were so much friendlier than others and it just made it much more bearable.

much love to you, 

emma xxx 

May 19 odd symptoms

03/06/19 doctors appt internal exam, said everything looked fine, did smear. 

10/06/19 urgent colposcopy due to HPV positive and severe changes. 

21/06/19 consultant sees 2cm tumour takes punch biopsies. She’s pretty sure it’s cc.

24/06/19 cancer confirmed, grade 3 preliminary staging 1b.

03/07/19 X-ray. 08/07/19 MRI and PET scan. 10/07/19 MDT meeting

15/07/19 restaged 2b parametrial invasion no lymph node involvement.

16/07/19 treatment 5 1/2 weeks chemorads

18/07/19 planning MRI 26/07/19 preassessment Chemo

05/08/19 chemorads start

11/09/19 chemorads end!!!! 

16/09/19 Brachy

19/09/19 DONE!!!! 

Harvitt

Thank you for your support. Looking at the bottom bit it looks as if you were told step. By step what they thought and found. I've been told nothing apart from "you have cells" and what I had to insist on them telling me "poorly differentiated squamous cells". That's it. They can see my mri. Surely they could say "it's this big"? But at present your bladder looks OK and so does x, y z...  But they're not. 

I've now come down with a cough so my mind is in over drive and I'm thinking stage 4 and I had an infection (I hope) (from biopsies) so I ached, freezing cold, discharge and bled. I stopped bleeding Sunday and started what I think is my period today. I'm freaking out and the oncology nurses are no reassurance or help. Quite cold in fact. 

 

I'm feeling really down. 

06 Jan 20 massive bleed. 7 feb 20 smear came back highly differentiated severe dyskolious. 14 Feb biopsies taken. 21st Feb cc cells found. 22 Feb 20 told poorly differentiated squamous cell. 28 Feb staged at 2a. Tumour is 2.4mm/9mm 6 March restaged at 3c due to 3 lymph node involvement - x1 2cm. 12 Mar 20 met oncologist - told me coronavirus will probably kill me before cc does. 18 March 20 pre scan booked.

More Information

Cervical cancer