Together we will beat cancer



11 Jul 2019 13:23



Last year my wife had an abnormal smear which came back with CIN 1, so a follow up appointment was scheduled for a year's time. She had that recently (a couple of months late) and smear came back high abnormality so she had a LLETZ treatment. Follow up letter said she had CIN3 so she now needs to go back in 6 months.

I have read various things about CIN3 and the success rate in treating (and the likelihood of developing into cancer) however I am still worried if this treatment hasn't worked and what the impact will be. I read an old post elsewhere on this forum  that said as long as you keep going to follow up appointments and have recommended treatment you aren't at higher risk of developing cervical cancer, even with CIN3? 


I appreciate that this is all preventative. I am however still worried, as I suppose is normal to be, on what may happen if the abnormal cells return and if treatment next time is unsuccessful (or the time after etc if it keeps coming back) and what the impact on our having children may be (I gather my wife will be likely to suffer from preeclampsia anyway, which I understand may make pregnancy difficult). 

I suffer from health anxiety so I worry more than normal people and I would greatly appreciate some feedback from the nurses about my concerns above. It hasn't helped that the abnormal cells were apparently not visible (as were inside the cervix) so inside my mind I can't help by wonder how they knew how to get them all? But again, this is probably my irrational mind talking. 


Thank you and sorry for the little ramble. The work everyone does on this forum is amazing and of huge comfort to people, myself included.




11 Jul 2019 15:11 in response to mwnn

Hello and thank you for your post,

I realise that it is worrying for you and your wife about her having abnormal cervical screening results. But, it is true that as long as she goes for her appointments and cervical screening it is far less likely that she would develop cervical cancer, even if her last follow up appointment showed CIN 3. 

Treatment for abnormal cells on the cervix is usually very successful, and most women who have a colposcopy treatment such as large loop excision of the transformation zone (LLETZ) never need another one. However a small number of women will need further treatment.

There is a very small number of women who will go on to need repeated colposcopy monitoring and treatments. If this does happen then there may be a small risk that it may interfere with her ability to have children. This is because having a repeated treatment like LLETZ may increase the risk of have a slightly preterm baby (born before 37 weeks). However, if your wife is told that there might be a risk her colposcopist would advise her and possible preventative measures such as putting a suture in the cervix either before or in early pregnancy to prevent miscarriage or preterm delivery will be discussed. Having treatment to remove abnormal cells on the cervix  does not cause preeclampsia.

We have more information about all of this on our website, click here  to see it.

I hope this has been of some help.  Please get back to us if you need any more information or support.  You may find it helpful to talk things through with one of the nurses on our helpline.  The number to call is Freephone 0808 800 4040 and the lines are open from 9am till 5pm Monday to Friday.

Take care, 



11 Jul 2019 19:04 in response to CRUK Nurse Caroline

Thank you Caroline, so could my wife continue to keep having LLETZ treatment a number times if the abnormal cells continue to return? I read on the link you provided that she may have to have a hysterectomy if cells come back. 

Please could I also check how long it would usually take for cancer to develop? I had read years, but wasn't sure from which stage this would be. 

Sorry, I should have clarified in my message, my wife is likely to have preeclampsia because her mother had it, I wasn't suggesting that it could be a result of current treatment. 


12 Jul 2019 12:25 in response to mwnn

Hello and thanks for getting back to us,

If needed, a LLETZ procedure can be repeated, usually several times. Our website  does mention a hysterectomy as a possibility but this would only be in a few situations; it isn't usually offered to younger women with abnormal cells. 

Treatment removes the abnormal cells along with the bulk of the virus making it easier for the body to clear up the rest of the virus. So hopefully there won't be any more abnormal cells that need treating.  

After picking up HPV, it takes many years, even decades, for cervical cancer to develop. But because the immune system can get on top of the virus, by far the majority of women who pick up HPV come to no harm and screening can sort out those that do. 

Abnormal screening results can trigger a lot of worry. When anyone is worried it is usually best not to antiseptic things too much as it can make you more worried. Try and take it one step at a time for now. 

If you want to talk anything over please do give us a call. 

Best wishes, 



14 Jul 2019 11:08 in response to CRUK Nurse Julia

Dear Julia

Thank you for your message which is of great comfort. It is reassuring to know that development of cervical cancer is so slow, not to mention that there are so many opportunities for it to be treated. 

Thank you again.