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Expert HERWriter Guide Blogger

Hello MissStevious –
First, I’m sorry to hear that feel you weren’t given enough information from your physician, and that you’ve been left with so many questions. This must weigh on your mind quite a lot. Let’s see how we can help.

Yes, there is a difference between adenocarcinoma and carcinoma. The prefix "adeno" means "gland". The word "carcinoma" in both of these words means "malignant tumor". Adding the prefix "adeno" means it is a particular type of tumor, specifically "a tumor of the gland". All cancers begin as in situ, meaning early cell growth.

You’ve said that you were diagnosed with adenocarcinoma and that you were treated for dysplasia. These are two very different conditions. Cervical dysplasia is abnormal changes in the epithelial cells covering the surface of the cervix. Dysplasia in some cases is precancerous. It may lead to cervical cancer if not treated.
Treatment of cervical dysplasia depends on the severity of dysplasia, location, and size of the area of abnormal cells. A high or low grade is also an important factor in treatment decisions.

I’m going to list a range of treatment methods below so you have this information. Please note that your doctor should have conducted a biopsy during the LEEP procedure, and you should have been given the biopsy results. I would contact the physician’s office immediately and ask for a copy of that report as well as a clarification of your exact diagnosis. You will be better able to make a decision on your next move after you have that information.

One of the key elements in being able to take care of our own health, and be our own health advocate, is to have a partnership with healthcare providers that’s based on mutual respect. It’s clear you feel you were not treated in a manner that supported your well-being, and I doubt you would be comfortable returning to this same physician. Finding another physician for your follow up care seems critical for your well-being. Knowing your biopsy results and clarifying your diagnosis will enable you to determine whether to see an oncologist or gynecologist.

Please let me know if you have more questions or need more information. I wish you the best in getting the information you need, and hope you will write back and let us know how this goes for you and what you learn. We’re here to support you so you don’t have to go through this alone.

Take good care,

Cervical dysplasia treatment methods include:

Cone Biopsy

This biopsy is the removal of a tiny cone-shaped piece of tissue from the opening of the cervix. The biopsy will be analyzed. The results will show whether any of the abnormal cell growth is cancerous.

Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure (LEEP)

A small biopsy of the cervix is taken with a wire loop heated by electric current. The results will show whether any of the abnormal cells are cancerous.


Cryosurgery freezes and destroys the dysplasia on the cervix. This method is not recommended for treating large areas of dysplasia.

Laser Treatment

Laser treatment uses a concentrated, high-energy beam of light to destroy abnormal cells. This method is more favorable than cryosurgery because there is less destruction of surrounding normal tissue than with some other methods. Although healing is faster than with other methods, laser treatment is expensive, and not always widely available.

If Cancer Is Found

Cone biopsy and LEEP are usually curative for dysplasia. However, if the cone biopsy or LEEP biopsy shows cancer, surgery, radiation therapy, or chemoradiotherapy may be used. Your doctor will discuss these options with you.


All women who have had cervical dysplasia should continue to follow up with frequent pap tests every 3-6 months, or as prescribed by her doctor.

November 9, 2009 - 6:03pm


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