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  • Could I have Ovarian Cancer?

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    Old 04-23-2017, 01:34 PM   #1
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    Unhappy Could I have Ovarian Cancer?

    Hi all, thanks for giving me a place to just put my story out there. Sorry this is so lengthy. I know that ovarian cancer can commonly be misdiagnosed as gastrointestinal issues, so I am adding a little extended history to give a full picture. I have had pain on my right side off and on for several years. They did an ultrasound a couple of years ago and didn't see anything unusual on my ovaries or my appendix. Also, my stomach gets so full of air sometimes that I can't pass anything. Sometimes the gas pain is extremely intense, but not very often. Gas-X doesn't come close... if someone walked into my house during one of those episodes, they may think I was giving birth from the breathing, twisting, and I've always assumed the right-side pain was gas. I was diagnosed (via endoscopy) in 2012 or 13 with an ulcer in my stomach, and IBS. I also had pretty severe anemia. The ulcer has been gone for 2 years, but the other symptoms remain. I have to take 110mg of iron/day, and still have periods of weakness and extreme fatigue. I have kept a food journal, and had narrowed the gas pains down to being worse when I eat a certain food. When I don't eat that food, the bloating goes away. UNTIL last month, that is. I've had the pain in my lower right side for over a month constantly, sometimes with sharper pains. My clothes fit strangely - tight in the waist - I have felt like my abdomen is swollen out like it is inflated with a balloon. When I eat, I feel super-full and have horrible indigestion, heartburn. I've been too tired to think clearly, and haven't been able to do much more than work (a very stressful job) and be a mom. On weekends, I stay on the sofa. I still was suspecting gastro-intestinal causes until I got my period. My periods have always been VERY heavy, and pretty regular until this past year. I'm 46, so I figured the two-week long periods, spotting, and even heavier-than-normal flows were pre-menopause symptoms. But last month, I had a period that was 13 days long, with two of those days filled with hours and hours of hemorrhaging. I stayed in the restroom all weekend because there was no way to contain it. I put my husband on alert to take me to the ER if I lost consciousness from blood loss, but I was too tired to even consider showering and going there. I started reading about ovarian cancer, and realized my symptoms were super scary. I made it to Monday without passing out, and was able to get my GYN to see me the next day. I walked in and said I wanted a hysterectomy. They did an ultrasound and found an ovarian cyst - on my LEFT ovary. I wish I had taken a tape recorder, because I was so weak I don't remember much else they said. The dr gave me progesterone to shrink it and said to come back in 6 weeks so we can monitor it. Then they called and said I have low vitamin D, and he called in a script for that. I've only taken one so far (it's one pill/week). I took the progesterone for 8 days. It made me really relaxed, happy, and sleepy. I stopped taking it 2 days ago and just started a new period. At this point, I'm afraid that I might have late stage cancer because I've been blaming symptoms on GI issues... Thanks for reading this far... any advice? Common stories?

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    Old 04-24-2017, 11:09 AM   #2
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    Re: Could I have Ovarian Cancer?

    I'm sorry for your troubles. The odds are at least in your favor that it isn't ovarian cancer since it's rare. But I'm sure it's frustrating that you haven't gotten a diagnosis. As far as the heavier and longer period(s) that may just be perimenopause. Many women seem to experience these crazy cycles during this transition. Something like birth control pills or non-hormonal tranexamic acid (Lysteda) can be a big help to manage the bleeding.

    Has H. pylori been ruled out? Have you by any chance had any pelvic surgeries / procedures? Adhesions / scar tissue can cause issues but typically cannot be seen on imaging.

    Although a hysterectomy may seem like a welcome treatment at this point, it has its own set of problems, short and long-term. It's trading a temporary problem for a whole new set of permanent ones. At least that's been my experience and that of many women with whom I've connected since having an unnecessary hysterectomy. Of course, if one has a cancer diagnosis, they don't have a choice.

    I hope you can get some answers and relief from the pelvic pain.

    Old 04-24-2017, 03:22 PM   #3
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    Re: Could I have Ovarian Cancer?

    I'd also be looking at gallbladder since it's common at your age in women.

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