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Rondalynn asks:

If a woman had mild dysplasia, had cryotherapy for treatment, then 10 years later had her cervix removed during a hysterectomy, can she still develop cervical cancer?

The answer to your question depends on why you had a hysterectomy.

·                                 If you had a hysterectomy to treat cervical cancer, you should continue to have regular Pap tests to make sure the cancer hasn’t come back.

·                                 If you had a hysterectomy to treat pre-cancerous changes in your cervix, you should continue to have regular tests for at least a few years after the surgery.

·                                 If you had a hysterectomy where your cervix was not removed (called a subtotal or supracervical hysterectomy), you should have regular tests until you are at least 70 years old. Since your cervix wasn’t removed, there is still a chance, albeit small, that you could develop cervical cancer.

·                                 If you had a total hysterectomy (the entire uterus, including the cervix was removed) for a reason other than cancer or pre-cancer, you may not need to have the Pap or HPV test any more. Check with your doctor first, since some conditions may mean that you should continue to be tested.

·                                 If you had a hysterectomy and have an immune system disease (such as infection with HIV) or are taking medicines that suppress your immune system (such as after a kidney transplant), you may be more likely to develop diseases as a result of your HPV infection. You should be tested regularly.

You should discuss your situation and your risk factors for HPV infection with your health care provider. No matter what you decide about the Pap and HPV tests, you should continue to have regular pelvic exams.

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