Continuing in the tradition of providing too much information that I set with my last post at Quiche Moraine, since the people who commented found it either informative or inspiring, here’s the update on my situation. According to the biopsies taken last Wednesday, I don’t have invasive cervical cancer. That’s the good news.
The bad news is that this still isn’t easily fixed. I’m in for more “helpful violence” that’s going to be painful and require some recovery. Here’s the problem, with illustrations.
The most common method for treating what I’ve got is a conization, or cone biopsy. (That’s right, I’m not done with biopsies yet.) This is a procedure in which a cone of tissue is taken out of the center of the cervix. In this illustration, a scalpel is used to cut on the dotted lines.
The problem is that conization won’t remove all the tissue I need removed. The lesion I have is large enough that one side of it stretches outside the area that would be removed. Quite far outside, in fact, to around where the blue arrows point. Nor is this the least problematic of the tissue to be removed. It’s still classified as CIN 2–3. Those cells need to die before they become cancerous.
The next step is to meet with an oncologist to decide whether this can safely be done in a less-invasive manner, probably with lasers in addition to the conization or whether I’ll need to lose enough of the cervix that I’ll have to have a hysterectomy. The discussion, of course, will be complicated by my tolerance for this sort of risk–and what my insurance company is willing to pay for. Yes, they have a certain say in this as well.
So that’s pretty much it for the information I added today. It’s all good news, really, given the restrictions I knew about after the biopsy. Since I dragged my readers into the waiting with me, I’m happy to answer nosy questions in the comments as well.