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Thread: I had pre cancerous cells. Diagnosed.

  1. #1

    I had pre cancerous cells. Diagnosed.

    As the title says.. Iíve recently been diagnosed with pre-cancerous cells; and had them treated. It has triggered my health anxiety so badly, which Iíve had under control for around 7 years. Sorry if this post is a little bit long or jumbled - Iím exhausted emotionally and physically.

    Around 2013 I had severe, debilitating health anxiety, mainly centring around thinking I have signs of various cancers. I had bad headaches and had to go for an MRI, I thought I had skin cancer, obsessively checked my skin, obsessively googled my symptoms and it was a really bad time for me. I had CBT and didnít turn out to have any terrible illness (unsurprisingly in hindsight!)

    BUT.. recently I have had pre cancerous cells detected from a routine smear test. The hospital were great, they did a biopsy and within two weeks I had the results back and had the surgery done to remove all the cells. The success rate is over 90% and theyíve essentially prevented me from developing cervical cancer. Itís incredibly common.

    Now the worse part..
    My anxiety. This has triggered my cancer phobia big time. Iím doing all the things I did back when my anxiety was at itís worse and I feel powerless to break the cycle - itís like this pre cancerous cell incident has validated my total panic. Iím doing the compulsive checking, googling, catastrophic thinking, all of it that Iíve been rid of for 7 years.

    The pre cancerous cervical changes which I have had are caused by a HPV virus which can also cause anal cancer, mouth cancer, and several more. Now Iím worried that what I thought were piles a few months back could be anal cancer. Logically I know this is incredibly unlikely - it takes a huge length of time to develop, I donít even know that I have a HPV in that area of my body, and not all my symptoms match up.. but my health anxiety doesnít care about logic or reason right now! :(

    Iím going back to my GP tomorrow to discuss 1) the symptoms Iíve had which I thought were piles and 2) to discuss my severe anxiety at the moment.

    If anyone has been through anything similar and has any advice, I would really appreciate it. Iím really struggling.

  2. #2

    Re: I had pre cancerous cells. Diagnosed.

    Hi Sienna, sorry to hear you are feeling like this at the moment.
    I had pre cancerous cells removed about 10 years ago. It was CIN 3. The follow up smear was fine. Had an abnormal with HPV then it went back to normal. My health anxiety went through the roof at that time. I was on google all the time which isnít helpful!! Iím due another one this month which Iím a little nervous about but I know it has to be done.
    Also I have piles (after having children) and Iím not worried about it.
    You are doing the right thing and seeing your GP, hopefully they can put your mind at rest/reassure you.

    Kim

  3. #3

    Re: I had pre cancerous cells. Diagnosed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kimbles View Post
    Hi Sienna, sorry to hear you are feeling like this at the moment.
    I had pre cancerous cells removed about 10 years ago. It was CIN 3. The follow up smear was fine. Had an abnormal with HPV then it went back to normal. My health anxiety went through the roof at that time. I was on google all the time which isnít helpful!! Iím due another one this month which Iím a little nervous about but I know it has to be done.
    Also I have piles (after having children) and Iím not worried about it.
    You are doing the right thing and seeing your GP, hopefully they can put your mind at rest/reassure you.

    Kim

    Hi Kim, thank you for posting. I had the same as you, CIN 3. Iím glad yours went back to normal after having treatment - I have 6 months to wait for my next smear to check my treatment got all the bad cells.

    Crazily enough, Iím more worried about the piles turning out to be being anal cancer than I am about my cervix being back to normal! Which just shows how horrible and irrational health anxiety is I guess. Iíve always treated them at home and gone through time periods of months with no issues but now Iíve had the abnormalities picked up in my cervix I feel very unsettled/ unsafe in my own body.

    Google really is the worst thing when it comes to anxiety - I felt fine til I started googling, I actually felt quite positive and optimistic about things and when I read up about other HPV related cancers a horrible doomed feeling came over me. Iím not going to do any more Ďresearchí and will just discuss my worries with my GP!

    Good luck with your smear this month, fingers crossed it comes back clear for you!

    Sienna 🌈

  4. #4

    Re: I had pre cancerous cells. Diagnosed.

    I hope I can get an appt with a female GP today, I know they might want to examine the area and I feel much more comfortable if itís a woman! Otherwise I think Iíll phone back tomorrow (unless my anxiety wins out and I take the first appt I can get)

  5. #5

    Re: I had pre cancerous cells. Diagnosed.

    Did you manage to get an appointment? I know what you mean about the hpv causing other cancers. I went through a stage a few months back as I started panicking about it again, and was constantly on google! I stopped that and the worry seemed to go. I think hpv is so common, and itís really good that they can test for it and keep an eye on things.
    For a few years after they removed the cells I had to have yearly smears, so donít be shocked if they tell you that.
    Thanks for the good luck!

    Kim

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