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Can a LEEP procedure find cancer?
Abby1243
3 Posts

Hi everyone :)

So long story short I am 22, 21 when this process started. I was having all types of concerning symptoms and had to fight with doctors to get a PAP smear because “I was to young to have anything wrong”. Anyways the Pap came back very abnormal and then I went for a colposcopy and subsequent biopsy that came back Cin 2 - Cin3. Originally the doctor said due to my age we will wait 6 months and test again. She then called back after reviewing my actual PAP results along side the biopsy results saying she would have to consult with BC Cancer as it was severe atypical with Favour Neoplastic which I have been told means “aggressive fast growing cells” and she wanted to be sure. Bc Cancer said that immediate LEEP was needed. The doctor sounded much more serious when telling me this and going back over symptoms and i have a LEEP procedure in April. I don't know the specifics but essentially the cells that showed on the pap didn't show on the swabby? part of the colposcopy biopsy and they are worried that they are missing something that is “farther up” and when the Leep is done they will be checking margins. At the beginning she said “it's not cancer”. I am wondering if there is any possibility that tests are not showing cancer right now but that when they do the LEEP biopsy there is a chance it will show cancer farther up that is currently being missed. If not cancer is it possible that something “farther up” could be worse then what they see right now? This has been a long journey and I am just stressed and tired lol and experience/ opinions would be great, thanks :)

10 Replies
Boby1511
1035 Posts

@Abby1243

Hi there,

Perhaps @Laurie112 would like to share, she has just had a LEEP.

Sending you best wishes.

Boby1511
1035 Posts

@Abby1243

Hi again,

I did not have a LEEP, thou, I was scheduled for one. Its a long story.

Anyway, perhaps call the cancer support line 1 888 939 3333. They may be able to answer some of your specific questions.

May help alleviate some stress.

Testing is a lot of waiting, it is tough for sure, I think its safe to say we have all waited at times.

Another thing, it's really great how you have advocated for yourself to date. Commendable.

Best wishes.

Whitelilies
2343 Posts

@Abby1243 Hi Abby and welcome from BC! So glad you connected here with us. Please know you have found a group of people, who care….who listen, and want to support…..

I read, and re-read, your “intro”….and WOW: it is awesome, that you DID advocate, for yourself, for your needs…..Age (other factors as well) should NOT be a reason, to rule, anything out…(or laziness to order a test….) I do hope others will soon chime in…..I am a bit unfamiliar with this “area”/sorry….

But please, know, we care…..and Lean On Us.

Keep Strong!

Whitelilies

#welcome

Boby1511
1035 Posts

@Abby1243

I just wanted to add that a LEEP after certain results on a colonoscopy or pap is not that uncommon. There are going take a piece or pieces of the genital tract. They will biopsy. A biopsy can be more definitive.

My doc explained the procedure itself hurts a little, but they numb. I did not actually have mine. So I have no first hand experience. They also mentioned regular pain meds are enough.

Its a good next step.

I would suggest as hard as it is, to take it a step at a time.

Hug a friend, get some support.

Runner Girl
2799 Posts

@Abby1243

Here is a link to a decent explanation of what the LEEP procedure is https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/cancer/cervical-cancer/whats-leep#:~:text=LEEP%20stands%20for%20Loop%20Electrosurgical,test%2C%20colposcopy%2C%20or%20biopsy.

I had a LEEP and laser procedure in 2012 to remove abnormal cells. Follow up colposcopy exams will be needed to see if all the abnormal cells have been removed.

Hope this helps.

Runner Girl

Laurie112
13 Posts

@Abby1243 hi there, the LEEP procedure is able to get a deeper section of the cells.

youve had a long journey and I can only speak on my experience. I had high grade abnormal pap results. This led to the colposcopy, which confirmed the high grade abnormal. I was scheduled for the LEEP and this procedure confirmed cancer. im Very early in my journey and diagnosis, I do have another LEEP scheduled.

as for the LEEP, no driving for the day, no working for the day, take Advil and Tylenol an hour before to help with the discomfort. For me, the painful part was having my cervix numbed with needles. for me, I needed to use pads for about 2 weeks. I cramped on and off For about 2 weeks as well.

im sorry you are going through this anxiety. im not any kind of medical professional, the way the difference between the colposcopy and LEEP was explained to me was- a bigger section of cells is taken across the cervix with a LEEP.

it was a quick procedure, eat before you go, hopefully your hospital allows you to take a support person (Covid protocols may interfere with this). I’m in NS and I received my results within 3 weeks.

im not sure if I answered everything, if you have any questions, send me a message.

im sending you positive thoughts and hugs.

Cynthia Mac
3929 Posts
Abby1243‍ , First of all, good job, you, for advocating for yourself! I wish I’d done more of that when I was your age!

I went through several years of treatments for growths before my doctor even bothered to send me for a colposcopy, when I was just a little older than you. That was a few decades ago, and I didn’t even hear the word “biopsy” until the colposcopy! Scared me out of my wits, as I’d been living with the condition for 3-4 years! They did the laser surgery on me (don’t know if it was LEEP - possibly an earlier incarnation of it).

If you have more questions (and it sounds as though you do), I would reach back out to your doctors - let them know that you need some clarification, and see what help they can be. Write your questions down and leave room for the answers!

Try not to get too far ahead of yourself, and focus on what you know for sure: that you have some “severe atypical,” “fast growing cells” and that you are doing everything you can to take care of that situation. The “what ifs” will not help you feel better.
Abby1243
3 Posts
Laurie112

Thank you for the insight on the LEEP procedure. I have done so much research on it but it does really help to hear a first hand account. I know my biopsy didn't hurt to bad ( the sound was the worst though 🤮) but I am more worried about the LEEP because it seems a bit more intense.

I think the hardest part is waiting. I know anything bad is typically slow growing but I can't help but thinking that waiting 2 months for the LEEP is giving all the cells time to get worse lol even though I realize the chances of that are super low haha.

Again thanks for the response :)
Abby1243
3 Posts

@Whitelilies

Thanks I appreciate the support :)

Yeah it was insane the process. After going through multiple tests like ultrasounds to rule out other things I asked for a PAP and the doctor said “you're 21 they don't perform those until 25” and I was so fed up at this point after going through 3 other doctors. I had to explicitly say the words “ No I have symptoms and a pap smear is no longer a screening but a diagnostic test as symptoms are present so they can test me” and he was like fine and thank god then scheduled me in with a female doctor who took me seriously and actually examined me and did the PAP.

Such a crazy process, but thankfully I have doctors that seem to be taking it more seriously now

Laurie112
13 Posts
I hear you Abby1243‍ the waiting is the worst. When I had my colposcopy, I asked the nurse and Dr lots of questions.

Take time to breathe and whatever you do to release stress.

reading up can be good and also overwhelming, make sure the sites are reputable 😁

I know I wanted everything down sooner than later, then things were going fast and I wanted it slowed down lol

a few more weeks to go

Hugs to you

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