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Old 08-02-2005, 02:01 PM   #2
mnemosyne mnemosyne is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: wva
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Re: Stage 1 OC - How were you diagnosed?

I think its very rare for anyone to be diagnosed with stage 1 ovarian cancer, chiquita, and most of the screening tests are provisional.

My mother was diagnosed with "something" based on an abnormal ultrasound in September 2003. Her ob-gyn got a CT of the pelvis and did a CA-125 test, which was positive so he referred her to a gynecological oncologist, who - based on the ultrasound and CT scan - thought that the CA-125 was a false positive and thought she could wait a few months for her hysterectomy because he didn't think it was urgent. He did, however, schedule her for a uterine biopsy, which was + for ovarian cancer. Her tumor was definitively diagnosed, but she was not staged appropriately (III-C - her cancer spread to her uterus and there were tumor implants throughout the peritoneal cavity) until she had her radical hysterectomy two weeks later. Mom's surgeon was surprised at the extent of her disease. The tumor implants were not revealed by the ultrasound or CT scan.

My mother had no symptoms whatsoever. She had regular ob/gyn check-ups (had, in fact, last seen her ob-gyn in August 2003), which were mostly normal. Her ob-gyn scheduled her for the ultrasound and a follow-up in September because they were planning an elective hysterectomy (she had a prolapsed uterus).

My advice is not to obsess over the symptoms. Most women just don't have symptoms. If you are having symptoms, your ob-gyn or GI doc or someone will probably do an ultrasound. If you have a clean ultrasound, you are a-ok and should stop worrying about it.

If you have reason other than your symptoms to worry (aka - you have a strong family history of breast/ovarian/prostate cancer), you can research genetic testing. If you are + for either of the breast/ovarian/prostate cancer genes (the three are all related), you will have better reason for cautious concern and might be able to justify yearly (or biennial or whatever) screening ultrasounds to your insurance company. I have a very strong family history of breast and ovarian cancer (mom w/ovarian cancer, aunt just died from recurrent metastatic breast cancer first diagnosed 10 years ago, their only female cousin has breast cancer in both breasts, grandfather died of prostate cancer), and I am planning to have genetic testing in the next couple of years to help manage my risks. Beyond that, it's not worth obsessing over.

Good luck!