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Cancer: Cervical & Ovarian Message Board
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Old 02-06-2010, 03:56 PM   #1
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Ovarian cancer or Fibroids?

Have been having a lot of pressure and full, crampy feeling in my lower abdomen. Sometimes I look four months pregnant (I'm 5' 6.5", 116 pounds). I tought it was "slow bowels" - I'd eat some dried fruit and the bloated feeling would go away but there was still tenderness as if my internal organs were bruised. Also have pain deep into my right hip.

Had a bout of the stomach flu and didn't seem to bounce back so went to the doctor. Extremely tired but, again I was sick, and I am a single mom (as in the only parent - no shared custody) with a very busy schedule. The "full" feeling has gotten worse to the point of it feeling like it was hard to breath. The doctor (actually a nurse practitioner) immediately went to "ovarian cancer" and recommended an ultra sound which I will have next week. She did feel something during the exam - I assume a mass of some sort.

Obviously extremely concerned. I asked Fibroids? Endometriosis? Other? and she kept coming abck to OC. However, doing research I don't meet a lot of the criteria:

Thin, very healthy, 46, have had two kids. Periods started at 13.5. No history of OC in the family. On my dad's side women live into the 100s. My dad is 87 and my mom 77. My mother had very bad fibroids. I am very cystic - have had breast, hand, neck an head cysts removed.

Never have bleeding or spotting between periods, but I do have fairly painful ones with a lot of clotting.

So, thoughts, chances, similarites?

 
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Old 02-06-2010, 04:58 PM   #2
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Re: Ovarian cancer or Fibroids?

Forgot to mention that the crampy feeling is far worse during ovulation...

 
Old 02-07-2010, 05:57 AM   #3
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Re: Ovarian cancer or Fibroids?

Ashya,

It could also be a very large but benign ovarian cyst that is causing the problem. Ovarian cysts, when large can cause the same symptoms as ovarian cancer. If the nurse practitioner felt something on the physical then it could also have been a cyst.

I am not saying that ovarian cancer is impossible but it most often occurs around the age of 60. It is, of course, necessary to go for the ultrasound and possibly rule it out, although if you are found to have an ovarian cyst, it may be necessary to have it removed through surgery in order to have it biopsied. It is impossible to know if an ovarian growth is benign with 100% accuracy. However, they can usually tell if a growth is likely to be cancer or not from the ultrasound as ovarian cancer gives a fairly reliable pattern on the ultrasound. Even with that, ovarian tumours are more often benign than cancerous. Premenopausal women have a 90% chance of a complex ovarian cyst being benign and Postmenopausal women have a 70% chance so as you can see, ovarian growths are extremely common.

Get that ultrasound and then come back and let us know how you are doing. I or any of the other ladies on these boards can try to answer any questions or concerns or even give support. I know the waiting and not knowing is horrible but try to keep your mind occupied until then. Getting anxious about something that has not happened will do nothing but make things worse. Hang in there.

((HUGS))

Estria

 
Old 02-07-2010, 06:02 AM   #4
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Re: Ovarian cancer or Fibroids?

Oh and Ashya,

Most definitely it could also be fibroids, especially if you have heavy periods with lots of clotting. The ultrasound will be able to tell.

All the best.

Estria

 
Old 02-11-2010, 11:46 PM   #5
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Re: Ovarian cancer or Fibroids?

Had an abdominal, pelvic and transvaginal ultra sound Wednesday called for the results today. Only the abdominal one was back...this had me worried. It came back all clear - apparently I have a great looking liver for my age but I was concerned that the other didn't come back because there was bad news.

The nurse / receptionist said she would track it down and call me back. She didn't so I followed up again. Was told the same thing. She investigated further and found thery were back but with nurse practicioner who ordered the test.

All the nurse /receptionist would say was it came back abnormal. There was a cyst and they wanted to do the ultra sound again. I confirmed that cyst showed different than cancer...I am still concerned as to why they want to redo the US...

The nurse is going to call me back tomorrow.

Last edited by ashya; 02-12-2010 at 09:14 AM.

 
Old 02-12-2010, 03:24 PM   #6
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Re: Ovarian cancer or Fibroids?

Hello Ashya,

You will need to find out what kind of cyst you have. If it is a fluid filled cyst, with thin walls that is located only on one ovary and it is 5 cms or less then this is most likely a normal functional cyst. We women get these cysts every month as a part of our cycle. Simple fluid filled cysts are very rarely dangerous.

If the cyst is not a simple cyst (ie. fluid filled) but a complex cyst with solid components then all will depend upon what the radiologist / gynecologist who did the ultrasound thinks it is. Some complex cysts show reliable patterns on the ultrasound that tell the doc what type of cyst it is. Dermoids, hemorraghic and endometriomas are such examples of cysts. Like most simple cysts, hemorraghic cysts usually go away on their own. Endometriomas and dermoids, as well as non functional simple cysts (ie. fluid filled cysts that are not normal cysts), are usually removed through surgery but most if not all of these types of cysts are also benign.

Some complex cysts may appear sinister and these must be removed in order to ensure that no cancer is present. Often these cysts are irregular in shape, very hard and immovable, sometimes septated and sometimes on more than the one ovary. For the nurse to tell you that if you have a cyst it is not cancer is irresponsible and she should have left it up to the nurse practitioner or your doctor. A complex cyst is most often benign (as I mentioned before, there is a 90% chance of it being benign in a premenopausal woman) but ovarian cancer can also appear this way so they are usually removed and biopsied, just to be on the safe side.

Another issue that is usually seen on the ultrasound is fluid in the abdomen. A lot of fluid in the abdomen can sometimes be a cause for concern. Keep in mind that this fluid can simply be fluid from a ruptured or leaking cyst but it is necessary to verify that it is not a symptom of something else.

If you are able to get a copy of the ultrasound, do so. Otherwise, go back for that followup ultrasound to make sure that all is well. I don't know if you are still experiencing symptoms but if you are they will have to find the cause of your discomfort soon. You may wish to be transferred to a gynecologist at this point (after the abnormal ultrasound). The nurse practitioner should be transferring you and if he or she does not, request it and get an appointment as soon as possible so that you can clear this issue up.

Come back if you have any further questions and don't be afraid to be pushy in order to get to see the right professional. You are your own health advocate and no one cares more about your health but you. This is something I have learned in recent years.

Take good care of yourself.

Estria

 
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