Cervical abnormalities: CIN3 and CGIN

Sources of support

The women we interviewed received support from various sources, including family, friends, their partner, health professionals and, sometimes, colleagues. Many valued having someone to talk to about their concerns or fears or to help with practical matters, such as childcare. Having someone with them at appointments or finding information for them was also considered helpful. For some women, the consultant, GP or a nurse had been supportive emotionally and in terms of giving them helpful information.

While family and friends provided invaluable support, many women also needed support from others who were going through the same thing. Many of the women we interviewed praised the support they’d received from the Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust website, a site dedicated to women, their families and friends affected by cervical cancer and cervical abnormalities. Most wished they’d been told about it sooner, for example in the information sent with their cervical screening results letter. Some women found Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust ‘a life-line’ during a very difficult time. Talking to others who were going through something similar showed them that they weren’t alone and that their feelings were normal and acceptable. They were comforted that other women on the website understood what they were going through and, even when they had slight worries, advice was given in a non-judgemental way. Some also found it helpful in terms of information about treatments and the emotional effects of CIN3 or CGIN.

Some women said they continued looking on Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust after they’d recovered so they could help support other women, especially those newly diagnosed. Katie said she stopped using the website after a while, though, because she didn’t want to read too much about negative experiences.

Many of the women we talked to were grateful for the various kinds of support they received from different people.

Some women had not needed much support. They healed well and were keen to get back to normal as soon after recovery as they could. Others, like Joanne, would have liked more support; she said she didn’t have much support around her because she’d recently moved and her family and friends lived some distance away. Several women would have valued more emotional support from health professionals, including a telephone conversation with a nurse or doctor before colposcopy and treatment, and while they were healing after surgery.

A few women said they had a lot of support from family but were surprised at the lack of support from some friends, who perhaps found it difficult to know what to say or how to be supportive.

Last reviewed May 2014.
Last updated May 2014.

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