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  • Symptoms and Ultrasound Results (ovarian) Concerning me, not my Dr...Need Advice

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    Old 12-20-2007, 05:22 PM   #1
    michelina
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    Question Symptoms and Ultrasound Results (ovarian) Concerning me, not my Dr...Need Advice

    Hi everyone. I really need some friendly advice. I am 36/single/smoker and am significantly overweight. I have been seeing my primary care physician over the last year or so complaining about abdominal distention and excess gas, fatigue, swollen legs and back pain. I also have seen him about what I thought might be urinary tract infections, which they found no evidence of but gave antibiotics for that didnt seem to help. These were intermittent and would last for several days and then subside and come back. Most of my problems seem to have been 'written off' due to my weight. I have also had some lower right abdominal pain and gushing, watery discharge but never sought any Dr.s advice for it and chalked it up to hormones or being fat. I started noticing that the abdominal/pelvic pain was becoming more frequent and I was occasionally gettin an excruciating pain in my pelvic and rectal areas when urinating or even sitting. This would last maybe an hour and then subside. I also noticed that I was becoming so distended that I couldnt go to work because I could not fit anything but my stretchy pajamas on. I have had the lap band surgery in July of this year. Everywhere but my abdomen has been starting to lose weight, and in fact it seems that is getting larger from a pants fitting perspective. In the past 3 months, I have been having the watery discharge almost every day now as well as the urinary urge all of the time. I have also started having a constant pulling sensation in my lower right abdomen/pelvic. My excess gas is becoming unbearable. I am exhausted all of the time, sometimes I have to go to bed when I get home from work at 4:30 in the afternoon. every couple of weeks or so I will be going along ok and suddenly get a horrid wave of nausea and if I have eaten anything will heave (difficult to vomit with the band) and then an hour later I am over it. Anyway, I went to a new OBGYN, as I have had the nurse practicioner at mr PC's office doing pelvic, last one 2 years ago. She did literally a minute and a half exam after I explained my problems with the pelvic pain, urniary and back pain and weird water discharge. She said well your urine tested fine on the dip stick and I said ok, I have a lot of gas and major bloating, could that put pressure on my bladder and make me feel like peeing all of the time? She said she doubted it but we will take a urine culture - not sure what that answer was about. Culture Came back normal. Pap came back Normal. She said, you are big so I can't really feel anything. She ordered an ultrasound. This did not come back normal. They called today and said that there were masses on my right ovary, but they wanted to determine if they were just cysts so wait 6 weeks and go get another ultrasound. I was a bit worried after that call and I talked to a friend who said look on the internet. So i typed in abdominal and leg swelling urge to urinate back pain watery discharge, etc. and it took me to ACS's July '07 announcement on common symptoms of ovarian cancer and a whole load of ovarian cancer search results. I am concerned that I am again being tossed aside and unimportant because I am a 'fat girl'. I guess if they had found a cyst and I wasnt having so many life interrupting symptoms that would be one thing, but I had most of the things on the ACS list (except trouble eating but I cant conclude if my trouble eating is the band or not). Is this pretty standard way to rule things out? I don't know if I can wait over 6 weeks for the results of another ultrasound. I would think, especially after some of what I read, that if symptoms and test results even suggest the possibility of a cancer situation that the physician should not take them lightly and start the process of ruling out cancerous growths. Should I go to another Dr or will they have me do the same thing? Sorry for the terribly long message. Any of your good advice would be appreciated.

    Michelina

     
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    Old 12-21-2007, 06:32 AM   #2
    Styller117
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    Re: Symptoms and Ultrasound Results (ovarian) Concerning me, not my Dr...Need Advice

    Ask for some blood work to be done ask for a c125 or ca125 i think its called. Thats a marker that something is not right.

    good luck
    styller

     
    Old 12-21-2007, 11:21 AM   #3
    estria
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    Re: Symptoms and Ultrasound Results (ovarian) Concerning me, not my Dr...Need Advice

    Hello Michelina,

    Sorry to hear you are so uncomfortable and I know exactly how you feel about having something on your ovaries and then having to wait before doing another ultrasound. I myself have a rather large simple cyst on my left ovary (7.5 cm) which the doctor thought was completely normal at first (he changed his mind when it was still there unchanged after two months).

    I do not think that your symptoms should be ignored. First of all, what kind of ovarian masses did they find ? Are they on both ovaries ? Are they filled with only liquid, solid or a bit of both ? The way the masses appear on the ultrasound is very important so try to find this out (perhaps get a copy of the radiologist's report). You may also want to have a CA-125 blood test done. This is a test that checks the levels of a certain protein in the blood which tend to be high in women with ovarian cancer. Keep in mind, however, that levels can be elevated for benign reasons as well (such as endometriosis, fibroids and menstruation .. do the test when you are not menstruating, just in case) .. in addition, 50% of women with early stage OVCA do not produce enough cancer antigen for it to show up with this test. That being said, if the results come back sky high, you will know that it is time to act. I had the test done and it came back at 7 (anything under 35 is considered normal) so I am "somewhat" encouraged. It is a simple and quick test.

    I understand how you must feel about doctors carelessly blaming your weight for these problems but if they were not there before then they have to listen to you as you know your body best. As for the urinary tract infections .. try a simple home remedy .. drink cranberry juice (get the low sugar one are usually cran juice is loaded with sugar). A glass a day will give you results. It did for me (the juice changes the Ph level of your urine).

    In the meantime, try not to worry as ovarian cancer is rather rare and the majority of ovarian cysts are benign. However, get things checked out to your satisfaction and if this doctor does not listen to you, find another one who will.

    I hope I have helped.

     
    Old 12-21-2007, 04:42 PM   #4
    michelina
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    Re: Symptoms and Ultrasound Results (ovarian) Concerning me, not my Dr...Need Advice

    The Dr.s office wouldnt give me really any information. When I tried to ask questions the nurse or receptionist or whoever said, "we will mail you the referral". Maybe they are not allowed to give much information, who knows. I had the imaging place send a copy of my tests to my PC and I have an appointment with him. I had a great opportunity presented to me today for a really good job but don't want to leave my current job, as I know for certain this new job won't keep me if there is something possibly wrong and I have to be out sick or anything nor do I have any gaurantees my current job will either I guess) . At least if I had an idea of what the problem really is I could tell them in advance if they would need to remove a cyst. I dont want to miss out on the job opportunity because it would be really good for my future. I know if I talk to my PC he will listen to the situation and probably order the tests if I am persistent. Are there any other tests that can be done? Say if the C125 test is normal - and I read that this test is definitely not definitive. Would a CT scan or even biopsy be too much? I also read that the ACS recommends that patients with possible symptoms should not be taken lightly. I think that they need to do something either way because I am really uncomfortable and it is progressively worse as time goes on. All of the tests for urinary tract infections have come out negative and I have taken antibiotics and drunk cranberry, etc. with no improvement...just getting worse each day. Very frustrating!

     
    Old 12-21-2007, 09:36 PM   #5
    estria
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    Re: Symptoms and Ultrasound Results (ovarian) Concerning me, not my Dr...Need Advice

    Hi Michelina,

    The ultrasound is the most reliable test for ovarian masses (more accurate than a CT scan). It can visualize the size and type of cysts or masses that are there and based on this the doctor will be able to recommend the best course of action. A biopsy would involve a laparoscopy which is essentially surgery under general anaesthesia so if you have this, then you might as well have the cyst or mass removed at the same time. Because the incision is not as large as a laparotomy (a regular surgical incision), the recovery time is a lot less .. about a week. If you have any vacation time accumulated, you can always use this to have the surgery done.

    Normally they will go in and remove a cyst if it the solid or complex type (complex is solid and liquid together) at which point the cytology of the tissue removed will determine if there is cancer. If it is a simple cyst (ie. only fluid filled) then all depends upon the size and behaviour of the cyst (ie. if it is growing or changing). Keep in mind that all normal women have ovarian cysts every month and that these functional cysts are completely normal. They can grow as large as 5 cm before bursting to release the egg into the fallopian tube. This is why cysts are a bit tricky to manage, because most of them may resolve on their own.

    At the moment, you need to have those ultrasound results and perhaps also do a CA-125 test. As I mentioned before, if the levels are very high then this will be a red flag that something is wrong. If it is normal than this will be some reassurance even if not total. Keep in mind that benign cysts can also cause the symptoms that you are describing and that in your age group, ovarian cancer is quite rare. You are right though, your symptoms should not be ignored so see your general practioner as soon as you can so that you can determine the next step as quickly as possible and be feeling better sooner.

    Take care.

     
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