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Smear test cancelled - overwhelming anxiety

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saffron94
Smear test cancelled - overwhelming anxiety

Hi, 

I turned 25 in December and, due to a combination of fear and logisitical issues, only got round to booking my smear a few weeks ago. It was supposed to be tomorrow but due to COVID-19 overwhelming GP surgeries, all 'routine' tests are cancelled for the foreseeable. 

In anticipation of the test I was reading up about how important it is and now, knowing how esssential it is in cancer-prevention, I am completely paralysed with anxiety at the idea that I can't be tested. I was in the first cohort of HPV vaccines in 2008 so hopefully am lower risk, but I just can't shake the horrible feeling that I have abnormal cells which aren't being treated. 

I suppose I was hoping for some reassurance that, whilst smear tests are really important, a few weeks/months/however long this pandemic lasts won't hopefully make a huge difference? I just feel like this will be on my mind until I am allowed to have the test cry

Jenlove87

Hello, I'm dealing with the same thing. I was scheduled for a Leep procedure next week and it's been canceled due to the Covid 19. I have cin3. I'm worried and I try to stay busy. Nights like this it's in the back of my mind. I had a abnormal pap back in 2009. I was told I had HpV but then I switched drs and he told me my results were normal. Through out all these years since then I've had bleeding during sex and cramps. I never thought anything of it till it got worst last year. I started getting really bloated with pain. Went to the emergency dr did a biopsy and scraped my cervix found abnormal cells. Scheduled a colposcopy and was told I have cin3 and need to have a leep. I was so traumatized after the colposcopy. It was painful for me. I came home I cried. It triggered my emotions.  I felt so exposed and scared. I would like to chat more with you. I'm 33 mom of 4 married. I would like to share more with u. You are not alone 

Jazza
Jazza's picture

Hi jenlove

Just to say, I found talking with someone on the Jo's helpline really helpful when I was struggling to deal with my overwhelming emotions. 

Take care.

x

 

  • Feb 04:  (age 47y) Smear test normal
  • Stopped going for smears!
  • Summer 16: persistent watery yellow vaginal discharge
  • Dec 16: post menopausal vaginal bleed
  • Jan 17: Hysteroscopy under GA for ?fibroids - abnormal cervix observed -multiple biopsies taken, 1B1  squamous  cell cc diagnosed - confirmed by MRI/PET scans
  • Feb 17: pelvic lymphadenectomy - nodes negative, Da Vinci radical hysterectomy- close anterior margin/LVSI/PNI, restaged to 2A
  • Apr/May 17: 6x chemo, 25x external radio, 2x brachy
  • Jul 19:  NED.  Various side effects notably hypotonic bladder since hysterectomy - ongoing ISC, unilateral lymphoedema lower abdo/groin/leg/ankle/foot
Julia9054

Hiya

You could purchase a private HPV test online and do it yourself at home. If you are negative, that would put your mind at rest. Currently, smear tests test for HPV first and if negative, do not go on to look at cells. Think carefully before taking this option though. If your result is positive, it may worsen your anxiety if you cannot then have a smear test. 
A few months waiting won't make much difference. At the moment, statistically speaking, you are more at risk of Covid 19 than of being diagnosed with cervical cancer at your first smear.

Jx 

katrehman

Hi. I'm sorry you're so worried. The government thinks some 80% of us could go down with the coronavirus. .men women and children . 80% of women will not develop cervical cancer. .the figure is actually 0.65% lifetime risk of this cancer. Each year around 900 of the UK 30 million women die of this cancer and one third are actually completely up to date with their smears.  Many more have already died of this virus world wide. Please try not to worry. If you aren't having symptoms of this cancer you are extremely unlikely to have it. Delaying a smear is probably better han developing covid 19.

Jazza
Jazza's picture

 

I agree that delaying a smear test for few months, in the context of the corona crisis, is reasonable and highly unlikely to have any detrimental effect on medical outcome.

 

If I may just comment on the 0.65% lifetime risk of cervical cancer.  I appreciate that this statistic gives some sort of perspective; unfortunately I used this statistic, many years ago, as a reason to stop attending for smear tests.  So, just in case there's anyone reading this thread entertaining the thought - please don't go down that road. 

x

 

  • Feb 04:  (age 47y) Smear test normal
  • Stopped going for smears!
  • Summer 16: persistent watery yellow vaginal discharge
  • Dec 16: post menopausal vaginal bleed
  • Jan 17: Hysteroscopy under GA for ?fibroids - abnormal cervix observed -multiple biopsies taken, 1B1  squamous  cell cc diagnosed - confirmed by MRI/PET scans
  • Feb 17: pelvic lymphadenectomy - nodes negative, Da Vinci radical hysterectomy- close anterior margin/LVSI/PNI, restaged to 2A
  • Apr/May 17: 6x chemo, 25x external radio, 2x brachy
  • Jul 19:  NED.  Various side effects notably hypotonic bladder since hysterectomy - ongoing ISC, unilateral lymphoedema lower abdo/groin/leg/ankle/foot
katrehman

I understand that in Wales their Public Health board has run a thorough risk assessment and decided to pause all screening programmes for 6 months in the face of coronavirus.  They think this is perfectly safe and women on yearly recall or who have symptoms will be " invited" as usual. As cervical cancer is typically slow growing. They will then look at it again in the future.  I know a lot of women have been puzzled by this given that we are usually told we MUST screen and that this cancer is prevalent....