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Cervical abnormalities: CIN3 and CGIN

Messages to others

The women we talked to offered many different types of advice based on their experiences of having CIN3 / CGIN. Everyone is different and what works for one person may not work for someone else. Here are some of their suggestions'

Cervical screening can help prevent cervical cancer by detecting and treating early abnormalities. Attending for appointments when invited is extremely important. Don’t let fear or lack of time prevent you from going. Any abnormality that is found can then be treated at an early stage.

 

Emma urges women to go for cervical screening when invited. The test only takes a few minutes and...

Emma urges women to go for cervical screening when invited. The test only takes a few minutes and...

Age at interview: 29
Sex: Female
Age at diagnosis: 28
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I would say don’t ever miss your smears. It’s two minutes, if that, out of your entire life, and to not have to go through what myself and so many other women, you know, I’m not alone and there are thousands of other women in the same boat as me.

But if you get checked like you should do every three years, then things won’t progress so far. You may not have to have treatment. You might be all clear. You know, what’s two minutes?

If you are diagnosed with CIN3, remember that CIN3 is not cancer and it is treatable.

 

CIN3 and CGIN are completely treatable, usually first time. Most women find the treatments painless.

CIN3 and CGIN are completely treatable, usually first time. Most women find the treatments painless.

Age at interview: 36
Sex: Female
Age at diagnosis: 35
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If you’re diagnosed with CIN, it is pre-cancer. It is not cancer. It’s completely treatable, and I think in 99% of cases it’s completely removed. The procedure that you have for CIN or CGIN is completely painless. I know in some women it does cause a little bit of pain, or you know they get infections afterwards, but it’s a simple procedure that requires a local anaesthetic. And it’s completely treatable and it is not cancer.

 

Colposcopy and treatment are quick and painless procedures. They are similar to having a cervical...

Colposcopy and treatment are quick and painless procedures. They are similar to having a cervical...

Age at interview: 39
Sex: Female
Age at diagnosis: 36
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I would say speak to people who’ve been through it. If you’ve had children, it’s [colposcopy and treatment] not as bad as that. You can, if you can get through having children, you can get through anything. If you haven’t, its no worse than a smear test. And, like I say, it’s a moment discomfort for a lifetime of peace of mind really. I think that’s all I would say is, you know, you’ve got to do it.

Try not to worry – the health professionals are there to treat you. Don’t be afraid to ask questions at appointments, even if you feel they might be silly or trivial.

 

It is important to go for cervical screening and treatment. The more relaxed you can be before...

It is important to go for cervical screening and treatment. The more relaxed you can be before...

Age at interview: 31
Sex: Female
Age at diagnosis: 25
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I think obviously it’s really important to go for your smears. Obviously if you’re going to have problems, then it’s better if they are picked up early. But I think in terms of the treatment, personally I would say it’s nowhere near as bad as you think it’s going to be. It’s not that dissimilar from having smear tests.

I think try and be relaxed in yourself. If you’re tense and you’re worried and you’re anxious, all your muscles are going to become tight and it’s probably going to be a more unpleasant experience for you. If you can relax and just try and think about something different, and be calm in your attitude, then things will be a lot better.

Ask questions. Don’t be afraid, don’t think they’re silly because everyone’s got questions and the nurses and doctors will have heard them before. They’re not going to laugh at you. They’re not going to talk about you behind your back. I think you really must be confident that you’ve asked all the questions that you’ve got. And don’t be afraid to use resources on the internet or things that are available to you. There’s lots of groups and support groups out there that can help you.

If you are anxious or have lots of unanswered questions, don’t be afraid to talk to your GP.

 

Debbie advises talking to your GP and getting information from a reliable source. The internet...

Debbie advises talking to your GP and getting information from a reliable source. The internet...

Age at interview: 36
Sex: Female
Age at diagnosis: 24
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I think the best advice I would give anyone is to talk to your GP, if they’re approachable. Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust website fabulous, but don’t go any further. Don’t go onto Google; don’t start looking at all these websites because you’ll end up scaring yourself to death. It’s just, the articles aren’t always accurate, and you read so much. A little bit of knowledge is such a dangerous thing and you’d end up a nervous basket case if you believed everything that you read. So I wouldn’t go any further than that. I went onto Google. I looked at all these websites, and I had myself in a coffin within six months, which is ridiculous. So get accurate information and speak to people who actually know what they’re talking about.

The information on the Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust website is very helpful. This is a site dedicated to women, their families and friends affected by cervical cancer and cervical abnormalities. Try not to spend lots of time looking on numerous websites because the quality and reliability of the information varies and could cause unnecessary worry. It is important to get accurate information.
 

Anna advises women to attend all appointments, to take someone with you to appointments, and to...

Anna advises women to attend all appointments, to take someone with you to appointments, and to...

Age at interview: 29
Sex: Female
Age at diagnosis: 28
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I think one of the most important things is to make sure you attend your appointment. There were so many people who didn’t attend theirs when I went for mine. And if you leave it, it could turn into something more sinister.

Make sure you go with your partner, your mum, or a very close friend. You will need somebody there for support. Even if it’s just to give you a cuddle at the end of it and hold your hand before you go in.

And really to talk about how you feel. Look up Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust on the internet. The girls on there are wonderful. And will be able to answer any questions. There’s also a confidential medical line on there. If you’ve got any questions, they can answer those in the meantime. Write down any anxieties, questions you have, speak to your consultant about it. If you can’t wait to, until you see your consultant, go and speak to your GP.

It is helpful to talk to other women who have had CIN3 / CGIN. It can be surprising and reassuring to know just how many women it affects, who are treated successfully first time.
 

Katie advises women to talk about CIN3 because it raises awareness and can be comforting - you...

Katie advises women to talk about CIN3 because it raises awareness and can be comforting - you...

Age at interview: 28
Sex: Female
Age at diagnosis: 28
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Talk to as many people as you can. Because one, it creates awareness of it. You know, I’ve not been, that’s why, as I say, everyone at work knows because I have not tried to hide it. Because I think the more people that know about it, even the guys, if it means that their girlfriend hasn’t been for a smear, just by telling them might push them on to do it. All of my friends now have gone and had smears off the back of this.

Talk to as many people as you can because, one, you’re going to be doing good for the cause, and secondly you’ll pick more and more stories of people who know people who know people that have had it done. And actual, you know, real stories I think that will probably make you feel better as well, and it’s a bit more comforting that way as well.

Talk to friends and family about what is happening and how you feel. It’s important not to isolate yourself.
 

It’s important to talk about how you feel. It’s okay to feel emotional and tearful.

It’s important to talk about how you feel. It’s okay to feel emotional and tearful.

Age at interview: 37
Sex: Female
Age at diagnosis: 24
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Talk about it first and foremost. Have a cry about it because it is your right to feel that, “Oh my God I’m a victim of this or that; I don’t understand what’s happening with my body.” Get emotional, get it all out. Speak to people, speak to your family about it so that they have some understanding. If you get given some leaflets don’t just put them on the side and, “Oh that’s never going to happen to me.” Read them. If you can’t tolerate reading them, get your family to read them to you.

It can be helpful to take someone with you to appointments, especially if you’re feeling nervous or anxious. Another person can provide support as well as help remember information.
Seek a second opinion if you feel unhappy with the care or treatment being offered. Looking after yourself before and after treatment is also important.
 

Relaxing, looking after yourself, eating and sleeping well all help. Maria also feels it’s...

Relaxing, looking after yourself, eating and sleeping well all help. Maria also feels it’s...

Age at interview: 34
Sex: Female
Age at diagnosis: 33
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I would really advise to look after themselves, you know, look after themselves, eat well, rest, sleep. Just get your body as strong as possible so that your immune system can help you. And then also, you know, have faith that it’s been caught in time and that it could be much, much worse, and be grateful for that I guess. That’s important because sometimes you just tend to focus more on why it happened to me rather than, “Thank God it happened.” That, “Thank God it was caught in time.” And not to look too much on the internet again. You know, just look for the positive stuff rather than the things that could go wrong. But I believe strongly also in nutrition and eating well, looking after
yourself. I think that that will definitely help your body.


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Last reviewed July 2017.
Last updated May 2014.
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