CSN Login
Members Online: 4

Endometrial cells in cervix??? Update

Penny67's picture
Penny67
Posts: 65
Joined: Sep 2011

Just had my pap test a little over a week ago and received a call today saying that my pap was negative but they had found endometrial cells. Since I have been on tamoxifen for 4 months and I know that it can cause uterine cancer I have to have an ultrasound and possible biopsy to figure out what is going on. The only good news is that I get to stop taking tamoxifen until further notice so maybe my extreme hot flashes will go away for a while at least. I am feeling a bit apprehensive about stopping the tamoxifen because my cancer was highly er/pr+, but will follow my very wise oncologists recommendation and stop until the uterus thing is cleared up. I'm sure something is brewing and hopefully they caught it early and can be solved quickly.

Just wondering if anyone has had this happen such a short time after starting tamoxifen.

On the plus side all my bloodwork came back looking good. It was 1 year ago tomorrow that I was diagnosed.

Double Whammy's picture
Double Whammy
Posts: 2336
Joined: Jun 2010

I hope this uterus thing is resolved quickly and everything turns out fine. Four months seems like a short time for tamoxifen to be the culprit, but what do I know?

My endometrial cancer was diagnosed because I had endometrial cells (normal endometrial cells) present on my pap smear. I was about 5 years post menopause, tho. So I had an ultrasound and endometrial biopsy. I was not on tamoxifen because I hadn't been diagnosed with breast cancer - yet.

Here's what I was told: It's not unusual for a woman to have both breast and endometrial cancers over the course of her lifetime because the risk factors are the same (this has nothing to do with tamoxifen); the fact that I had endo cells on my Pap smear didn't mean I had cancer, but warranted further investigation (because of my age and menopausal status); ultrasound would be the first step and if it showed the uterine stripe to be wider than 5 mm, then they would do a biopsy. I don't have a clue since you're on tamoxifen if that 5 mm. measurement applies.

Having a transvaginal ultrasound is painless, but a little humiliating. If you go on to have a biopsy, take 800 mg. ibuprofen at least 30 minutes before the procedure. Difference is night and day (ask me how I know). I didn't know a biopsy would be performed the day I showed up for my consult, but I took it just in case and was so glad I did. The gyn was amazed at how well I did for the procedure - again given my post menopausal status.

Sending lots of hugs, prayers and positive vibes your way. It's difficult not to be worried about this, and I'm not about to tell you not to, but it's very likely that even if something's going on, it will be caught before it's even cancer (complex atypical hyperplasia) or at least early stage because your oncologist has been diligent about watching out for you. Enjoy the time without hot flashes.

Suzanne

Penny67's picture
Penny67
Posts: 65
Joined: Sep 2011

Suzanne,

They told me that if I they found something while they did the ultrasound that I would have a uterine biopsy at another time but would be done under anesthesia. Did they put you under for your biopsy? Yes I agree that it would be a bit strange for tamoxifen to have done this so quickly, but I know that as far as cancer goes I am not immune to anything and I seem to fall within the small percent of side effects.

I was upset when they called me with the pap results earlier today, but am really feeling at peace now after meeting with my oncologist and thinking things through. I am trying to "let go and let God" because it is really out of my hands now and I am tired from this whole journey. One thing that is weighing on my mind is the fact that I am going back to work teaching at the end of August and this could put a crimp in my plans. After being off the past school year, I don't want to look like I waited until school was about to start and then "Oops I need to have surgery again so I can't come back yet." People that are on the outside looking in really have no clue and are quick to judge.

Penny

Double Whammy's picture
Double Whammy
Posts: 2336
Joined: Jun 2010

Sounds like they'll do a D & C rather than a biopsy if your ultrasound warrants. A D & C gets all of the endometrium, not just the parts biopsied, so nothing is missed. I had a biopsy. It's an in-office procedure, no anesthesia. The ibuprofen makes a tremendous difference in the cramping. It's a pretty quick procedure, but it still hurts. A D & C is done under general anesthesia. zzzzzz

I understand the work issues. If you do have a hysterectomy, even if it's done laparoscopically with the DaVinci robot, you probably can't get the wheels in motion to be back at work end of August. Here's to hoping everything is A-ok! When is the ultrasound?

Suzanne

Penny67's picture
Penny67
Posts: 65
Joined: Sep 2011

I have the ultrasound tomorrow at 11 followed by an appointment with the gynecologist to go over what they found and what the next step is. I read somewhere that if you previously had a c-section you were limited as to what kind of hysterectomy you could have or rather if they did the abdominal incision or laparascopic. I guess I'll have some of those questions answered tomorrow.

Double Whammy's picture
Double Whammy
Posts: 2336
Joined: Jun 2010

I think it's not so much a matter of particularly having had a c-section but rather not having had a vaginal delivery. For laparoscopic cancer surgery (usually using the DaVinci robot), they want to remove the organs intact and they only way to do that is vaginally, even though the actual surgery is done laparoscopically. If you don't have cancer, they can macerate the organs and bag and remove them via the ports, but not if cancer is suspected. I think there's an issue sometimes if a woman has not stretched the tissues and pelvis enough as would happen via childbirth. I remember the gyn-onc asking me about deliveries and saying "that's good". There may be other issues with the incision from C section, but I know the delivery thing is a consideration. All I can say, is thank goodness I got to sleep through it!

Suzanne

Penny67's picture
Penny67
Posts: 65
Joined: Sep 2011

Had my ultrasound yesterday and they didn't find anything in the uterus except thickening (1.5 cm). My gynecologist said that the endometrial cells that were in my pap were true endometrial cells, so he felt the chances that there is cancer in the uterus were low but felt the thickening warranted further testing. He said he could do a biopsy right then and there or I could have a d & c at a later date. I opted for the d & c because I know that if I had the biopsy and it came back negative, I would think that they might have missed something. I figure with the d & c they are scraping away the entire lining so they will know for sure if there is any cancer or pre cancer hiding in there. Also it will thin out the lining and if it is negative for cancer I can get back on the tamoxifen asap.

The thought of general anesthesia again is daunting but at least it is a fairly quick procedure (about 20 minutes) with some cramping afterwards (that will probably be tolerable since I had horrible cramps when I used to have my period). Keep me in your prayers Friday morning that this will come back negative and I can finally resume my new normal!

Double Whammy's picture
Double Whammy
Posts: 2336
Joined: Jun 2010

Hope the report from the D & C is good and Friday morning goes without a glitch. My endometrial cells were nomal, too. In addition to the thickening (mine was 9 mm) I had a polyp which was where the cancer was happily growing, so I think they knew more about where to try and get tissue and they did. Remember, you're being watched carefully and they're being cautious. These are good things. Even though my biopsy result was "only" complex atypical hyperplasia with areas suspicious for adenocarcinoma, and I had only a -30-40% chance that I had official cancer, I did have cancer. Luckily, I was stage 1, grade 1 - about as good as it gets when it's cancer. I'm fine and dandy today because docs were being cautious and checking things out that were suspicious. This will all be behind you soon and you can resume your new normal - whatever that turns out to be.

Hugs,
Suzanne

DebbyM's picture
DebbyM
Posts: 3294
Joined: Oct 2009

That's good news Penny! Wishing you good luck and I will be praying for you! Did you have the D & C yet?

Hugs, Debby

LoveBabyJesus's picture
LoveBabyJesus
Posts: 1659
Joined: Jan 2011

Keeping you in prayers. But so far, I like the news your Dr. has given you. Let's continue to walk this path and have all test results come back negative.

XO

Kristin N's picture
Kristin N
Posts: 1969
Joined: Mar 2009

Praying too!

Subscribe with RSS
About Cancer Society

The content on this site is for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition. Use of this online service is subject to the disclaimer and the terms and conditions.

Copyright 2000-2014 © Cancer Survivors Network