Cervical Dysplasia and Cancer in Pregnancy - 1
So, what compelled me to bring up this subject now? Recently, I saw a young woman (16 years old) early in pregnancy for an ultrasound to confirm her ‘dates’ and evaluate the baby’s anatomy. The baby looked just fine, but after I told her the baby was a girl, she got very upset. This was not the kind of upset that women typically get when they would have preferred a baby of different gender, but I did ask her if she had been hoping for a boy. She shook her head no, but continued to sob uncontrollably. So, I asked if there was something else she wanted to talk about. At that point she asked her boyfriend to leave the room and as soon as the door was shut, she told me that “he gave me warts, and the one’s inside turned into cancer, and the doctor told me they can’t do anything for me.” At that point (I was very relieved), I told her that I bet there was some misunderstanding, that she probably is going to be just fine, and that I would look into it for her before she left. This is a scenario I have seen too many times before, so I was fairly confident in what I had told her.
While she was being moved to a consultation room, I called to our clinic to get the ‘real story.’ As it turned out, this was her first pregnancy, she had conceived very shortly after becoming sexually active (her boyfriend was much older), she did have anogenital warts with heavy vaginal involvement, her Pap test had returned with low-grade squamous intraepithelial neoplasia, and she had been told that she probably wasn’t going to be treated during the pregnancy. This was a little different from what she had actually thought she heard which was that she had cancer and there was nothing we could do to help her and that she wasn’t going to be around to see her baby girl graduate from day care! So, I went back to the consultation room to talk with her and the conversation we had will be the subject of our next post….