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Old 02-16-2008, 09:11 PM   #1
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Unhappy complex ovarian cysts

Hey -

Can anyone tell me if they've ever heard of a complex ovarian cyst turn out being malignant?

thanks!

supermom3

 
Old 02-19-2008, 10:35 AM   #2
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Re: complex ovarian cysts

Gee, I sure wish someone would reply to this!

supermom3

 
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Old 02-20-2008, 05:06 AM   #3
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Re: complex ovarian cysts

Hi Supermom,

Both my sister in law and my sister's sister in law (did you get that ?) have had complex ovarian cysts and both cases turned out to be benign. My cousin also had a number of complex cysts on her ovaries and since they were growing rather rapidly, she had to have her ovaries removed. When tested, they found these to be benign also.

Recently a colleague of mine was diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer. She did not have any cysts on her ovaries but by the time she was diagnosed, she had over 30 lbs of fluid in her abdomen. She was unable to eat anything without throwing up and before finally going in to see her doctor, she was only able to stay satiated by drinking protein drinks. Before this, she experienced serious bowel problems and A LOT of acid reflux and heartburn. She was gaining weight at an alarming rate and her girth was increasing rapidly as well (due to the ascites). When they finally did a PET scan, they found the cancer behind her uterus. Although classed as ovarian cancer, this actually began as peritoneal cancer which is a cancer of the lining of the abdomen. The lining is made up of the same type of tissue as that on the ovaries (epithelial cell tissue) so the diagnosis is the same as that for ovarian cancer. After three rounds of chemo which was relatively painless, her CA-125 went down from 91 to 39 (35 and under is considered normal) and she recently had surgery to remove all of her gynecological organs. Although they did not get all of the cancer, they are managing to keep it under control. She is now scheduled for more chemo to perhaps get rid of the rest of the cancer that is remaining. She is an incredibly strong woman and is remaining positive. I think that this truly makes a huge difference in how things turn out in the end.

I think that in light of your mental state, you should go for more frequent ultrasounds so that you can get the reassurance that you need. It is a simple 10 minute thing that will offer you peace of mind (ie. you can see that it has not grown and that there is not other tissue in your abdomen .. or fluid). I personally prefer to go for my ultrasounds more frequently than suggested, even though I have a simple fluid filled cyst. This is what I need in order not to go crazy so this is what I do. A doctor should understand this.

I hope you find the peace of mind that you need.

 
Old 02-20-2008, 07:21 AM   #4
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Re: complex ovarian cysts

Hi Supermom,
I also had a complex ovarian cyst that kept growing every time it was looked at. I had surgery and it was benign. There are way more benign cyst than malignant ones. I understand your anxiety as I just came through it as well.
I just wanted to show that there is yet another benign cyst!

Estria,
How did your U/S go? I hope you got a positive change or no change.
I know how anxious it made me when the damned thing kept growing.
If it weren't for your wonderful advice and encouragement, I may have gone off the deep end! Please keep us posted, and keep your chin up!
Cat

 
Old 02-20-2008, 10:03 AM   #5
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Re: complex ovarian cysts

Hello TatCat,

It's wonderful to hear from you. The official diagnosis for my latest ultrasound was "no change" although at the exam, the radiologist was not sure if there were a few millimeters difference in the wrong direction (ie. bigger). He said that this is very small and is often because of the way one measures. My gyne just phoned me a couple of minutes ago and said that there is no change and that the difference is due to the margin of error in measurement. Even my uterine fibroid came out as 2 mm bigger (from 11 mm to 13 mm) and she said that this is well within the margin of error. I sure as heck hope they are right. I just don't understand why this margin cannot go the other way for a change. When I have a copy of the report (my gyne mails it to me with her next ultrasound request), I will compare it with the previous ones and with the internal ultrasound that I had when the cyst was first discovered (I remember these measurements were already different, because of the angle probably).

At any rate, if it IS getting bigger, it does not seem to be in a hurry and I imagine that anything dangerous would be behaving more aggressively (my last ultrasound was three months ago). I am now due for another ultrasound in six months (since I cannot wait a year) and if I absolutely cannot stand it, I have an extra doctor's note and can go sooner. I figure my mental health is just as important as my physical health. I am getting used to being "in limbo" and hopefully by my next ultrasound, we can definitely see a change if there is one. I would still like to avoid having surgery if at all necessary but if it is getting bigger then under the knife I go. If they are too large these things can start to press on your bladder or colon and I don't want that.

Cannot wait until the snow melts and the weather gets nicer so that I can begin to go on my nice relaxing daily walks again. On top of everything they are doing serious renovations on my home and I am stuck in one corner of the house with my three cats. My work keeps me busy, thank goodness for this little escape. Over the past couple of years (just after my fortieth birthday) I have had a series of health "scares" and I am finally coming to the realization that I am sick and tired of being afraid of something that will probably never happen. Take THAT you cyst !

I hope you are recovering nicely from surgery. Pretty soon your experience will only be a memory and you can help others through their experience, as I see you are already doing with this posting. Take care.

 
Old 02-20-2008, 12:12 PM   #6
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Re: complex ovarian cysts

I'm sure that the Drs have looked this over carefully and that the measurements are within the error margin. You will know for sure when you get the reports. It sounds like your Dr doesn't mind explaining things to you, which is wonderful! I still feel a little bullied by 3 of them!
If I could send you some of our Florida weather I would so you could go for a walk and not think about all of this!
It's very easy to get on the computer and get yourself worked up over all of this.... I know this because before it was over I was taking Xanax because I thought I was losing my mind!
I am sending you positive vibes and some of my good luck!
Take care and keep us posted.
Cat

Last edited by TatCat; 02-20-2008 at 12:14 PM.

 
Old 02-20-2008, 01:08 PM   #7
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Cool Re: complex ovarian cysts

Dear Estria and TatCat,

Thank you both for your positive and encouraging replies. I'm sure you have seen me on this board very frequently the past week or so!

I continue to see a therapist for my OCD/Anxiety issues and take Effexor. I have been off work exactly 1 week today - I just don't feel I am in the frame of mind to be there - then again, maybe that's what I need - to keep my mind busy, although I have a wonderful husband, 3 busy awesome teenagers, and 2 funny dogs to keep me plenty busy at home.

I think my biggest frustration is that I could have 500 people (actually between you two, my doctor, my gyn, and other misc. people, probably more like 20!!!) telling me positive things about my situation, I feel reassured for minutes or hours, and then I get in a funk again!

I have a follow-up ultrasound next Thursday (2/28) because my gyno saw last Thursday (I went to her to cover my bases with a 2nd opinioin) how distraught I was over the whole thing and didn't want to see me (mentally) wait until mid-March, which is when the routine 6 week check would be. When she saw the report she said she is not worried and if she were me, she would not be losing sleep about it. I just pray it's either shrunk or dissolved since she said if it's stayed the same she would recommend doing another ultrasound in another 3-4 weeks, and I am horrible with "watching and waiting" - one of my flaws!

Anyhow, thanks so much for your time! I hope you both continue to stay well and positive with yourselves and your situations!

hugs,
supermom3

 
Old 02-20-2008, 02:38 PM   #8
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Re: complex ovarian cysts

Hi Cat and Supermom,

Thanks so much for all of your positive thoughts. It looks like all three of us seem to worry too much. Seems to be a female trait and with these ovarian cysts it's no wonder.

Supermom, I know how you feel about people reassuring you and then having that doubt creep in when you are alone. With me it would occur during the night. I would wake up to use the bathroom and my mind would suddenly fill with panic about worse case health scenarios. I finally realized how ridiculous I was being and how this had to stop or I would start to suffer from stomach related illnesses.

I was never like this before starting to have these tiny problems shortly after my fortieth birthday which I blew way out of proportion with my overactive imagination. I now refuse to loose my life and my health over these things and I find that by keeping busy, taking care of myself and going on these boards from time to time, I am staying abreast of the situation. Sure those awful thoughts do tend to creep back from time to time (it's the way I am made) but I push them away immediately by thinking about something else (like what I am going to make for dinner or some other everyday thing) because I KNOW that this fear was the thing keeping me from living my life and not necessarily the health issue. Many people actually do have terminal illnesses and they still manage to get the most out of life.

It is impossible to know that you don't have a single thing wrong with you anywhere in your body so you have to live your life as best you can and make it the happiest and most wonderful life that you can. If you take it one day at a time and live by this philosophy, eventually you will forget these negative feelings and replace them with positive ones.

However, that being said, I would really appreciate receiving some of that Florida weather as I hear it is going to be around minus fifteen tomorrow !

Take care of yourselves.

 
Old 02-20-2008, 04:00 PM   #9
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Re: complex ovarian cysts

To Estria!

Thanks for the very thoughtful and smart reply!!! Not to be nosy, but I think you and I are the same age?! I'm 42, and I think somewhere in one of your replies today you mentioned something about the past couple of years, since your 40th, you'd been stressing about health related stuff. Anyway, I was just curious how old you and tatcat were.

I know this probably sounds weird, but I printed out your last reply so I can refer to it when I'm tempted to "surf" for stuff that I have no reason to be concerned about!

Oh, also, where do you live? You mentioned how cold it was going to be where you are, and the comment about Florida - I was just curious - must be in the midwest? I'm in Oregon - I'd love to chat with you more if you'd like!

hugs,
supermom3

 
Old 02-20-2008, 04:13 PM   #10
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Re: complex ovarian cysts

Quote:
Originally Posted by supermom3 View Post
I think my biggest frustration is that I could have 500 people (actually between you two, my doctor, my gyn, and other misc. people, probably more like 20!!!) telling me positive things about my situation, I feel reassured for minutes or hours, and then I get in a funk again!
Thats exactly what I did... I think we all do! And I think that it's human nature to do this!
I worked up to the day of my surgery, and I even went in that morning!
It really helped me. If I were at home before hand, I would have driven myself crazy... That doesn't mean everyone should do that, it's just what worked for me. That funk is something to reckon with!
I got my final pathology today, and it was benign! I was really happy about that, needless to say.
Now all I have to do is a 6 month follow up on my last mammogram on Tuesday.. I don't know if I'm ready for that again, but I guess I'm as ready as I'll ever be!
Good luck to you and please know that we are here..
CAt

 
Old 02-20-2008, 04:42 PM   #11
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Cool Re: complex ovarian cysts

Hi tatcat!

You lucky girl, you're in Florida!? I'm a native Oregonian, so you'd think I'd be used to our rain! I shouldn't complain, we get our spurts of pretty nice weather also!

Thanks for your reply! Judging from your reply and where you're posting, have you had breast and ovarian issues?

take care and reply if you'd like!

hugs,
supermom3

 
Old 02-20-2008, 08:18 PM   #12
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Re: complex ovarian cysts

Breast cancer is the history in my family. My mother died at 47 of breast cancer, and every time I have a mammogram, it requires a follow up.
I am of course, holding my breath with this because of the elevated CA 125 but I'll certainly take my victory with the negative post op pathology!
I am going for my mammo follow up on Tuesday.
The last report said the area appeared benign, but they wanted to look again in 6 months... the day I came home from the hospital, the letter was there reminding me that it's time to schedule my follow up! UGH!
I'll be glad to get it over with... I am telling myself that everthing is ok.
I am having it done 6 days before my post op check with my Gyn/Onc, and I'm praying that I don't need him again with this.
I have genetic counseling/ testing scheduled for April with his office.
I'm not sure that I'm ready for it, but my husband and I discussed it, and feel that it would be a good thing to do..... In the mean time, I'm planning on enjoying the month of March without seeing any Doctors.
I hope you are feeling Ok, and that you do refer back to this forum to keep yourself a little more calm. It sure helps me.
Cat

 
Old 02-21-2008, 07:40 AM   #13
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Re: complex ovarian cysts

Hello again,

Supermom, I happen to live in one of the coldest areas of the world, Québec, Canada. It's not quite the north pole but not too far. Since I am descended from a Mediterranean heritage, my body does not really like the cold weather and I tend to stay cooped up inside during the winter months. I keep fairly busy though so before you know it, the beautiful crocuses start to push out of the ground and spring is here ! I am 41, turning 42 this year and I had no idea that my body would start demanding my attention as soon as I turned that nice round number of 40. I even joked about how silly some people are about feeling bad about turning this age, after all, it's only a number. Ha, ha, I guess the joke was on me.

Tatcat, hang in there for the mammography. This is the same story as with ovarian cysts and remember that benign pathologies occur here as well. My poor aunt was told a few years back that a lump she found in her breast was definitely a cancerous tumour (don't know how the stupid doctor could say that for certain without a biopsy). They went in and took out a good portion of her breast (ie. with wider margins and more than they would have if they thought it was benign) only to find out that it was a benign growth. Can you believe this ? She was terrified all that time for nothing.

If you are having mammographies every six months (this is what it sounds like) then you can be assured that God forbid should anything happen, they will catch it at a very early stage when they can better deal with it. Also, you should know and may already be aware that they now have some superb drugs that fight breast cancer. A friend and colleague of mine was diagnosed a few years back with an agressive form of breast cancer that was highly responsive to estrogen and thanks to one of the newer generation drugs, she is able to keep the cancer from returning. I think it is wonderful that you are getting the genetic screening. Keep in mind however that even if you do have the gene, this does not mean that you will develop the cancer. Conversely if you don't have the gene, this does not mean you will not develop breast cancer. They do not yet know exactly why some cancer and tumour suppressing genes turn on or off but they are currently studying identical twins and finding that even when one develops cancer, the other may not (and they have identical genes !). Environment evidently plays a huge role. Genetic screening is therefore helpful but can also be limiting.

Good luck on your mammography. We will all be rooting for you !

Take care.

 
Old 02-21-2008, 08:17 AM   #14
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Re: complex ovarian cysts

Estria,
Did you get the big ray of sunshine I sent your way? LOL...
Canada may be cold, but it's one of the most beautiful places in the world!
I am a Floridian and you would laugh until you couldn't breathe if I told you my definition of cold!
I am taking this mammogram in stride... I think I'm worn out from the ovary scare. I think because ovarian is so hard to diagnose, and what you have to go through to get there. I'm just not going to allow myself to panic this time.
I can't.
Now, here is a question for you guys... Have either of you ever heard of cold flashes? I have had no hot flashes, but have had a couple of episodes where I am freezing! I checked the temp in the house and it is 72 degrees, so there is no way I should be getting this cold!
Do you think it's a symptom of surgical menopause?

Thanks,
Cat

 
Old 02-21-2008, 09:20 AM   #15
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Re: complex ovarian cysts

Hi ladies!

supermom3 in Oregon here - I just read both of your posts from this morning - hey, Tatcat, I haven't heard of cold flashes, but right now my hands are freezing! I know some people run cold or hot - you know what's funny?! The school I work at, in my opinion, always runs warm! I wear tank tops until December at work! People always laugh at me while they run around in turtlenecks!

hope you both have a great day!

hugs,
supermom3

 
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