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Cervical Cancer- First doctors appointment questions and need to know?

Posts: 2
Joined: May 2012

My mom was diagnosed last Thursday with cervical cancer and her first appointment with the specialist is tomorrow. We have never dealt with anything like this so I feel like I am drifting along with no idea what to expect. (I am assuming this is normal) She has not been staged, just had the results of her biopsy and this is the next step.

My question is what should I expect on this trip? Any questions you would recommend asking?

I want to be as informed as possible and I am hoping any advice you can share will be helpful. (Sorry I do not know more).

I am guessing it will be more of a planning trip, although I wish they were testing to find her stage- I want to know exactly what we are against. I know that is the next step, but since this is the first doctors visit after the diagnosis, I am want to ask as much as I can. I am an only child and my mom is only 44 years old, so her and my dad will be going to this visit- but I know if I have a plan and list of questions, I will be able to be objective and not get caught up in the scary nature of everything. I am determined to be strong for my parents, especially my mom.

Posts: 476
Joined: Jan 2012

I wish your mom much luck with her appointment. Waiting and not knowing are very difficult. Hopefully the gyn/onc will be able to give you more information about your moms condition. Usually, cervical cancer is stage clinically by virtue of a pelvic/rectal exam. The doctor should be able to get an idea of the size of the tumor at that point (if there is a tumor to feel). The biopsy should have given the cell type and grade of the cancer. After her exam the doctor will probably order some more test such as a pet/ct in order to assess any spread which would require a different treatment plan than if it were local and contained. The doctor may suggest surgery to remove the cervix or s radical hystectomy if the cancer seems to require that, with lymph node remova, to biopsy and check for spread. Ask lots of questions on how you can help your mom stay positive and comfortable, how she will need help with recovery from any surgeries or treatments, if all this becomes necessary. Write things down, sometimes information can come at you fast and furious and your left only remember the word "cancer" and nothing else. Good luck to you all. Keep us posted.

Posts: 2
Joined: May 2012

Thank you so much for the information. Having questions and something to write on really helped me to focus on WHAT was really being said. It was also helpful after the fact to be able to explain to my mom what was really said.

This was just an initial meeting with the specialist, but he felt confident that although her tumor was large, he feels like it is still contained just at her cervix and has set a plan of action for just radiology treatments. She will undergo the actual staging with a ct scan (like you explained) to make sure there is nothing spread, and then begin the radiology treatments for the outpatient treatments. She is to visit with him again before she will have to be submitted to the hospital for any over-night treatments to make sure the tumor is shrinking (since there is a 90% success rate).

Right now we are staying positive that the results of her staging are as good as her doctor is predicting. Although we will fight and we WILL win no matter the stage, receiving a lower level stage will be a little easier to take.

Thanks again for your knowledge, it was helpful and made me breath a little easier for myself and helped me be able to support my mom and dad as well.

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