Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"
I had a hysterectomy after fibroids ten years ago but had also had colposcopy, biopsies etc for positive pap smears. My paps were negative until 6 months ago, when I had a colposcopy after a positive pap smear. Now I am having paps done every 3 months, and he wants to do another colposcopy in 6 months. This time he mentioned referring to an oncologist at that time. My question is, how worried should I be and should we be waiting? I don’t want to look back and wish I had gotten a second opinion. He is a home town gynecologist - do I need to pursue someone who specializes?
Christina S. Chu, MD, Assistant Professor of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology at the University of Pennsylvania Health System, responds:
If your primary physician recommends evaluation by an oncologist, then I would follow his advice. Patients may have dysplasia, or pre-cancer, of the vagina, even after removal of the uterus and cervix. These areas of abnormalities need to be adequately evaluated, and occasionally need treatment in the form of an excision or laser treatment. The good news is that vaginal dysplasia only rarely progresses to vaginal cancer. Good monitoring is really the key.