Upon being diagnosed, it can feel as though the world is collapsing in around you, but it's important to remember that you are not alone. Cervical abnormalities are a lot more common that you may think, and if you chat to friends and work colleagues, you will probably find someone who has been through a similar experience. 400,000 Canadian women receive a call telling them that their Pap test result is abnormal (http://www.paptestinfo.ca/index_e.html).

Many women find it helps to talk about their feelings, rather than bottling up anxieties and worries. Having a strong support network, including your partner, family and friends around you can make your diagnosis easier to come to terms with. And if you can chat to women who have been through the same procedures, or even read about their experiences online or take a look at some of other women's stories, it may help reduce your anxiety about what lies ahead. Women often use our online forum for this purpose.

When first receiving a diagnosis of a cervical abnormality, it is understandable that you may want to carry out your own research to find out as much information as possible. We would always encourage you to look up information on trusted websites such as HPV Awareness Corporation, the Public Health Agency of Canada, The Canadian Cancer Society, the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada, the Society of Gynaecologic Oncology of Canada, so that you know you will be accessing reliable information

Following diagnosis:

  • Try to focus on the fact that having a cervical abnormality does not mean that you have cancer.
  • Ask questions at every step along the way to make sure you understand what is happening to you - fear of the unknown can be debilitating.
  • Ensure that you attend further tests or treatment – they could prevent you developing cancer in the future.

"Advice and Tips from Other Women." Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust. N.p., 19 Aug. 2013. Web. 02 Mar. 2015.