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Question about ovarian cancer

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Old 10-07-2005, 08:03 AM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2005
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motherof6 HB User
Question Question about ovarian cancer

I am new to this board and I hope someone can help me with my question.
I recently had a ultrasound and they found a cyst structure. My gyno said it could be cancer and ordered some blood work for tumor markers. Since I haven't had a period for 4 months she gave me a hormone pill to start my period and ordered another ultra sound in a month to see if the cyst structure looked different after my period. My question is do you think my doctor is being aggressive enough? Would a month make a difference if it is cancer? I have read that the tumor marker test isn't alway reliable and that ovarian cancer if not caught early may not be curable.

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Old 10-07-2005, 10:08 PM   #2
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Re: Question about ovarian cancer

Hi Motherof6,

In mine and my doctors (gynocologist) opinion, 1 mo. is not too long to wait. You do not know if you have cancer yet. You may not. I had to wait 3 mo. inbetween, to see if the cysts on my ovaries got larger or smaller and if they became simple or complex. I had one of each type, on my ovaries. The complex cysts are more likely to become cancerous - I think. You need to wait til you get the results of the CA125, which they usually have to send off. This blood test is not a for sure way to tell if you have cancer, but if it is high, it may be more likely to be cancerous. (Mine was low or normal.) And the next step might be to get a biopsy. (Be careful if you have one of these in the dr. office, they hurt. Ask for pain meds.) Each doctor does things a little different, tho!

If you are really worried about it, after those tests above, then ask him about a laparscopy (sp?). Then he can look and see.

Good luck to you and come back and talk any time you need or want.

Take care. Wannabe

Old 10-10-2005, 05:51 AM   #3
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Re: Question about ovarian cancer

Dear mom of 6,
I am mom of 4.
I've had the same problems as you have since 1998 ever since I had my tubal ligation.
I go thru fright every time the cysts appear. they'd come and go, some would burst and send me to the emergency room.
they're very troublesome to the patient.
functional cysts are normal and woman have a cyst each month.
some can feel when they're ovualting and will feel pain which is called mittleshmirtz ( spelling?)
I am very intune to my body so know if something's going on.
I"ve had abdominal bloating, constipation, very painful sharp shooting feelings when urinating and know when my cysts are enlarged.
back in 2003 I had a laparoscopy performed to drain the cyst. plus the dr. did a cone biopsy and a D&C. I had a cone biopsy because the radioligst that read the cat scan said my cervix was markedly enlarged and that air was inside. he said there was possible cervial carcinoma.
pap tests don't always pick up cancer cells if they're far up.
pap tests are only screening tests.
trans vag ultra sounds are the modality of choice to investigate tumors or cysts. fluid or solid or septated, etc.
even some fluid filled cysts can be cancerous. there are MULTIPLE types of ovarian cysts and young woman believe it or not can get ovarian cancer too.
it's just rarer. but it happens.
one doesn't ever want to mess around and delay treatment or follow up for an ovarian mass.
the CA125 tests are only a screening test and can have false positives as well as false negatives.
certain other gynocological problems can raise a ca125. even an autoimmune illness can raise it.
if it's elevated, I'm sure this would make the doctor decide not to do just follow up's with ultra sound but to have a laparoscopy immediatly.
I've had laparoscopies before and I have a horrible reaction to the gas that they inflate you with to lift your abdominal organs up with so they can get a clearer view.
it hurts me terribly if they don't push out the gas as much as they can.
it shoots up into my shoulders as if I'm having a heart attack. it goes under the diaphram of of the chest and sits there like a bubble.
some don't have the same reaction to the gas.
everyone is different.
they tell you to walk alot and move around alot to make the body absorb the gas.
this does not work in my case. I was miserable standing and miserable laying in bed. I couldn't get comfortable anyway I turned in bed. it was horrible for me.
so I swore I'd never have another laparoscopy again. I requested the laparatomy. I've had two of then already and I can deal with the incitional healing better than the gas.

I've heard of patients going months rather than only one month of follow up ultrasounds and their cancer still be cured if it turned out to be cancer.
of course to find it in it's earlier stage is better.
that is rare though. but now that woman and doctors are more aware of the subtle symtoms, the doctors are doing the ultra sounds and ca125's sooner rather than later.
ultra sounds are not 100% accurate though. I've read womans stories. alot.
to some doctors the cyst looked normal according to the reading of the ultra sound and not until they actually went in and biopsied the tumor or cyst did they find it to be cancer.
I don't mean to scare you. just learn as much as you can so you can be your own advocate. woman are becoming smarter and knowing their bodies better more than they did than just a few yrs ago.
people make mistakes. doctors make mistakes, machines can make mistakes.
nothing is 100%. even biopsies or pathologists can be read wrong. that's why a biospy of anything should be read by two seperate patholigist or two or even three seperate labs.
it's tricky. to read the cells. some are more outstanding than some and some are more subtle or boarder line. it takes a good pathologist to read it correctly.
I was told by more than one woman that I should go to a gyno oncologist to take care of me. not just a regular obgyn. the gynocological oncologists have more training in that dept. when it comes to reproductive carcinomas.
I've even been told that some good gynocologists will even ask a gyno oncologist to assist in the surgery of some cases.
they have the eye. they deal more with reproductive cancers and are more familiar with them.
my gyno is not asking that a oncologist be at my surgery. I'm too chicken or inhibited to ask her to have one on staff at the time. I feel like my dr will be insulted not trusting her expertise.
I know that's foolish because it's my health and I shouldn't care what they think, but I do.
I'm really nervous about having my upcoming surgery. but I also know that I will finally have my health back. the surgery far out ways the constant suffering I go through every month all the time with cramps and chronic cysts.
I'm sick of it interfering with my love life too.
I can't be free if I'm always protecting myself from pain.
I wish you well and hope that everything goes good for you.
if you don't feel comfortable with this doctor, I urge you to get another one.
that's what I'd do. I've done that.
do as much research as you can and listen to your body. only you know if something's not quite right with your body.
there's only a few symtoms with ovarian cancer and some woman didn't even feel anything. but when they thought back, they did feel very vague changes in their bodies. so listen to your body.

good luck.

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