Before I post my (ahem) completely hypothetical question, I want to assure everyone that I have a follow-up doctor’s appointment Wednesday. I’m just dong my traditional unnecessary obsessing about possible catastrophic outcomes.
Let’s say that a hypothetical 41-year-old woman had an abnormal Pap and a positive HPV test. She went in for a colposcopy and the doctor who performed the test said she saw something abnormal in the transitional area (?) of the cervix, inside heading up towards the uterus. The doctor did a biopsy and when she discussed it with the patient, she described the next likely procedure, a LEEP, as if she thought it was a probability and she asked the patient to think about what gynecologist she’d like to see for that procedure.
Now, a week and a half after the biopsy and four days before the patient is scheduled to go in for her followup consultation, she is experiencing some lower abdominal/back pain that feels a little like menstrual cramps. It isn’t cramps, and the cramping that the colposcopy brought on is long over. The patient, being a somewhat obsessive sort of person, is now wondering a) what are the odds that this is cervical cancer of any serious degree (I know, I know, it’s impossible to say for certain, but would anyone be able to make an educated guess?) and b) is it likely that this kind of achy lower abdominal pain, which the patient has been experiencing on and off for months, might be a symptom of cancer? What are the likely next steps in this saga?
And, if no one can answer those questions, does anyone have any suggestions for getting one’s mind off morbid thoughts?