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  • Possible ovarian cancer?

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    Old 08-22-2002, 09:31 PM   #1
    kkm's Avatar
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    Unhappy Possible ovarian cancer?

    Hello - I am 38 and have a history of endometriosis and ovarian cysts, although I haven't had a problem with either since my 20's. This past weekend I had a painful episode, and I went to urgent care. After only an exterior exam, the dr suspected either an ovarian cyst or early appendicitis. The pain continued throughout the weekend (I didn't want to go into emergency or pursue things further if I didn't have to because I was attending my high school reunion!). I had an appointment on Monday with and OB (yearly exam) and she ordered an ultrasound. The ultrasound showed an 8cm mass as well as some fluid or blood. The dr ordered a CA125, and on Monday I will get the results and discuss my 'options'.

    I am a nursing student and I also research a great deal on the internet, and I know that although it's possible I have another ovarian cyst, they are looking at the possibility of ovarian cancer. I am not in as much pain as I was this weekend (I think whatever I have likely ruptured, but this was before the ultrasound and the mass still measured 8cm). I only think that because the pain spread then slowly decreased.

    Anyway, does any of this sound familiar? If I only had a cyst, couldn't they have been able to tel that on the ultrasound? They always have before. What kind of questions should I ask the dr on Monday? If it were something really bad, wouldn't I have more pain or feel sicker?

    I am a bit bloated, and can feel pressure in my pelvic region. It also hurts when I have bowel movement at times, not necessarily in my bowels, just from pressure, kind of like constipation.

    My sister-in-law is an oncology nurse, and she isn't saying too much, but I can tell she is concerned. Also, whenever I talk to the nurses they sound very concerned, and keep asking me "Are you feeling ok, honey?" I appreciate their care, but it makes me suspicious. Of course, I am also known to be a hypochondriac at times, and maybe I am just making too much of this whole thing.

    I know I will find out much more after I get the results of the CA125, but I just wanted to get some input from those who have been there.

    In any case, I know that God has my journey mapped, and the road He leads is a great one. It's just my job to learn to be a good traveler!

    Thanks in advance for your input!


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    Old 08-23-2002, 08:17 PM   #2
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    Hi, I'm 33 and also had a large ovarian cystic tumor (size 10cm x 7cm x 8cm). I had surgery in May and it was found to be a borderline ovarian cancer. I was lucky this cancer is usually only treated with surgery and has less than a 5% chance of returning.
    Before I had my ultrasound I was extremely tired and had horrible gas and pain on my left side that was worse at night, especially if I laid on that side. I made certain to get a copy of all my bloodwork, ultrasounds reports, operative reports, pathology, etc. It's important that you know what's in the report. I found that dr's don't exactly tell you everything, my dr. failed to mention the ultrasound report indicated the radiologist thought it was cancer. They usually have a good idea if it looks suspcious, so, I was quite shocked when I got a copy of the report. It's also important that you don't get too excited. I also did a lot of research. With your history of endo and cysts the "mass" could be either of these things. It could be a choc cyst (a blood filled cyst that is actually endometrisis) can look like a mass on an ultrasound. Ovarian cancer is really uncommon while cysts are much more common. It could also be a benign mass which is common for women in your age group. My pain was worse about a week before my period otherwise all I felt was pressure from the tumor and the odd stabbing pain. My gyn exam was very painful. I was told that endo and regular cysts could also elevate a CA125 (mine was 66 before surgery - normal is from 1-35). If they can't tell if the mass is suspicious or not ask for a CT scan or a PET scan. Also, if they suspect cancer or want you to have surgery ask for a referral to a gynologist oncologist first - I can't stress how important that is! I saw two gyn and the first one told me before examining me "Relax, you don't have cancer!" I got a second opinion right away. A Gyn Oncologist is a must if surgery is recommended. Ovarian cancer surgery can be very complicated and gyn oncologists have THE BEST survival rates.

    Opps, I didn't mean for this post to be this long!

    Anyway, I hope I helped you, please let us know how you're doing and you're in my thoughts!


    Old 08-25-2002, 12:54 AM   #3
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    I had ovarian cancer when i was 15 (am now 42). I had one ovary removed and most of the other one, I was told I would probably not have any family (I have a boy and a girl).

    I just wanted to let you know that I got through it, and have a wonderful family, I still worry at times that it will come back, but don't dwell on it too much.

    God Bless you and hope all goes well

    Old 09-01-2002, 09:03 PM   #4
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    I don't have any advice on questions to ask your doctor. All I can give you is the symtoms of my best friend and co-worker, who had ovarian cancer. She mentioned indigestion a lot. She had pain I beleive in her right side. She often had to go to the bathroom. She felt the support groups she attended for her condition really helped. Please keep us posted on your condition.

    Old 09-02-2002, 02:19 PM   #5
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    If the mass ruptured [i.e. a choc mass] then it might appear irregular. Ultrasound is limited in what it can detect - shape, size and some indication of differences in density but not composition [histology/ cytology]. Because most cysts have a well-defined 'regular' shape, anything irregularly shaped raises concerns.

    MedLinePlus article - ovarian cancer:

    For more technical articles, do a search for:

    Malignant Lesions of the Ovaries
    Author: C William Helm, MBBCh, Acting Director, Associate Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Division of Gynecologic Oncology, James Brown Cancer Center, University of Louisville

    BTW, I hear that B.C. has an excellent track record in women's health.

    Good luck,
    Jay [from Toronto]

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