· How can I have dysplasia when I test negative for HPV? We don't know, really. Although HPV is a leading cause for this kind of dysplasia, it is not the only cause. We don't know why this has popped up.
· What are the other possible causes of dysplasia? Other factors than can cause dysplasia of the vulva/vagina are smoking and having multiple sexual partners. I'm happy to say I am a monogamous non-smoker, so who knows.
· How likely is it that this will develop into cancer? Not likely, especially since these instances have been mild (with one of moderate) and do not seem to be recurring. Again, testing negative for HPV is an indicator that this is not likely to progress into cancer.
· How closely is this related to the vulvar dysplasia we found over the summer? We don't know. Although they could be related as the dysplasia(s) showed up around the same time, without knowing the root cause we can't definitively say if they are related.
· Was a vaginal colposcopy performed during my surgery or just a vulvar colposcopy? Just a vulvar colposcopy. Which makes me feel better, knowing that my oncologist didn't miss these cells during surgery.
If a vaginal colposcopy was performed, how were these cells not found as I could feel them back in June (and told my GYN)?
· What concerns should we have knowing that these cells have been growing unchecked since June 2012? No real concerns as no other instances of dysplasia were found during the vaginal colposcopy. The original bump cluster was the only one.
· What is the next step in treatment? No next steps. The oncologist watches mild dysplasia at 6-month intervals after removal of the tissue (all of the effected tissue was contained within the biopsy). We are on wait and see.
· How likely is a recurrence? We don't really know. Appointments every 6 months and I have instructions to come in if I/we feel or find anything unusual during the interval.
· What lifestyle changes should/can I make to decrease likelihood of recurrence? This one was good news - the pre-pregnancy eating plan I established is exactly what I should be doing! This is great. Also, my doctor reinforced how important it is that I do not smoke and am not exposed to second- or third-hand smoke. Hopefully this is a good message for R to continue to be strong. (He quit smoking six months ago.)
· How does this effect our tentative plans of TTC in the Spring? The best part: IT DOESN'T! She wished us luck and stated that, if my 6-month appt rolls around and I'm pregnant, we'll just wait and do the exam post delivery. Yay!
Good news all around!