So, I kind of have a personal experience going on with this right now, which caused me to do a bit of different research than normal while going o through lupus news last night.
(And sorry for the lack of posts, I’ve had a lot going on and have been sick plus literally working majorly long hours each day editing, so I haven’t had the concentration for anything much. I’ll be back on track now, though :))
My doctor told me yesterday that the fact that I have lupus helped cause me to have to go through the LEEP procedure I had done.
And here I thought it was just because I had let too much time go between regular exams (which, of course, didn’t help… *shrugs*).
But the thing is, most women, according to this doctor of mine (and I also read it somewhere yet can’t find the link now … of course — damn fog :P), will end up with lesions on their cervix at some point in their lives. But, their immune system fights them off and they literally just … disappear. That’s what the immune system is for, right? To fix you and make you *all better* 🙂
Well, not me. Apparently, according to the first doctor I saw about all of this, (and don’t worry–there’s an actual news link–this isn’t all about me) said I’ve had the lesions two years. And they’ve just been slowly growing from basically nothing (a zero on a scale from 0-5 … 5 being the only one truly considered cancer) all the way up to a ‘severe 4.’
My body didn’t fight anything off. It got worse and I ended up having to deal with this procedure where I’m now waiting for pathology results and more … which I will rant about in my ‘lupus journal’ in a few minutes because it doesn’t belong here…
This study I found and am linking to, albeit small and maybe not the best in the world (yet still informative and accurate enough to take seriously — it matches up with other information I found) talks about Plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine) being used, but the way they spoke of it confused me. I really don’t know of many people who go off of Plaquenil, even when/if their lupus gets worse. Drugs just get added — like I’ve been on Prednisone (and other things) for a while now to help boost the Plaquenil since it obviously wasn’t working.
The study claims the women on Plaquenil were more likely to have “normal smears” but I’ve been on the drug for years and mine was far from normal.
Basically, what this all comes down to is that
“the study does provide further evidence that women with lupus are at greater risk for … subsequent pre-cancerous cervical abnormalities… It suggests that women with lupus should be investigated regularly for these cervical changes, especially in the first five years following their lupus diagnosis.”
Huh — wish someone would have told me this information. Especially considering the first few years are when I’ve been the worst at keeping up with other things because I’ve been so inundated with doctor’s appointments and fatigue and whatever else that other things fell to the wayside.
Maybe I’m naive for putting the regular things off. I can admit that. But still, it’s odd not to know something that I feel should be common knowledge for a lupus patient … something your rheumy should tell you. But that’s just me…..