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  • Concerned About Ovarian Cancer

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    Old 08-07-2014, 11:19 AM   #1
    alwyspayingattn's Avatar
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    Question Concerned About Ovarian Cancer


    A week before my last period, I had a sharp, stabbing pelvic pain two days in a row (one episode lasted for 10 minutes and the next lasted for 1 minute). They may have been gas-related, as I did get some relief after passing gas.

    Two days before beginning my period, I started having twinges in the area of my left ovary/next to my left hip accompanied by a dull back ache on the same side. These twinges persisted for over almost two weeks until days after my period ended, and they were most frequent on my heavy-flow days (occurring every minute or less). I sometimes have these twinges during ovulation, and I have had these AFTER a period before, but never before and throughout a period. I also had more nausea than normal on my heavy-flow days and seemed to have urinary frequency, but I couldn't tell if that was caused by anxiety - which I was experiencing.

    I am thought to have endometriosis due to sometimes painful bowel movements, terribly painful period cramps, family history of endo, etc.

    Following my period, the twinges stopped after a couple of days but were immediately followed by a day of vaginal spasms (every 5 seconds to a minute for 24 hours straight) and urinary frequency. I called my dr to ask if this could be endometriosis related, and she said "No!" She said it is referred pain from the uterus or bladder and wanted to test me for interstitial cystitis (painful bladder syndrome) as well as get a transvaginal ultrasound that I was already set up for one week from today. The spasms/urinary issues were worst on my ovulation day, and as I mentioned, my pelvic twinges were worst on my heavy flow days, which made me wonder whether I have some mass that is pushing against surrounding organs when I'm having period or ovulation contractions.

    Just as the urinary frequency and spasms started to subside, I got a new sensation - intermittent, shooting, burning pains by my belly button/navel that came and went for a few days.

    I had the test for interstitial cystitis (IC) today. I have to wait until next Wednesday to get the results along with the results of the transvaginal ultrasound that they will do on the same day. From my reading about IC, I think the test is going to be inconclusive or negative. It did hurt a lot when the nurse inserted a catheter into my urethra, which she thought meant I had an inflamed urethra or perhaps had more pain because I have not been pregnant/given birth/been dilated before.

    I do suffer from health anxiety and am trying hard to trust that this combination of symptoms can and will be totally benign, but I guess I am wondering whether anyone else has experienced these symptoms and whether it turned out to be endo or a cyst or something entirely benign?

    - Twinges on one side (near ovary) before, during and after a menstruation (NOT during ovulation).
    - Urinary frequency/vaginal spasms before, during and slight after ovulation
    - Intermittent, infrequent, shooting/stabbing pains near navel on opposite side of ovary twinges
    - Some burping/gas that seems to originate from pelvis (not abnormal for me to burp a lot, as I have suffered from acid reflux for 10+ years)

    I had a CT scan and transvaginal ultrasound two years ago. Everything looked good then. Scared and worried that these could be early or late symptoms of ovarian cancer. Any thoughts appreciated!

    Last edited by alwyspayingattn; 08-07-2014 at 11:22 AM.

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    Old 08-08-2014, 07:19 AM   #2
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    Re: Concerned About Ovarian Cancer

    If you do not have a genetic predisposition / family history of ovarian cancer (OC), then this is unlikely to be OC. The average woman's LIFETIME risk of OC is less than 2% (U.S. government statistics say 1.4%).

    I do not understand why your gynecologist says this cannot be endometriosis. I have spent a bit of time on endo forums and all of your symptoms are common in women with endo, although not all women have all the same symptoms. Plus you have a family history so endo would be MUCH more likely than OC.

    It is my understanding that endo can only be definitively diagnosed via surgery with biopsy of tissue. Endo implants can be found throughout the pelvis but are not visible on imaging although I have read that an MRI can sometimes give an indication that you may have endo. There are only a handful of "true" endometriosis specialists in the U.S. and many regular gynecologists are not very knowledgeable about it.

    Let us know what you find out at your next appointment from the cystoscopy and ultrasound.

    I had abdominal pain from an ovarian cyst but never had menstrual cycle problems or pain before that. My gynecologist rushed me into surgery and should have removed just the cyst when the frozen section showed it was benign. Instead he removed all my sex organs.

    Old 08-08-2014, 07:57 AM   #3
    alwyspayingattn's Avatar
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    Smile Re: Concerned About Ovarian Cancer

    Hi STLouisgal,

    Thank you for taking the time to respond and for helping to ease my concerns. I am sorry to hear that your doctor may have gone too far with your surgery. Hopefully it was some sort of hidden blessing in disguise.

    I have read quite a bit about endometriosis but had not yet found total piece of mind. I am glad to hear that you've heard of these symptoms with other women, though I am not glad that we are all going through this.

    I will certainly post a reply about my results.

    Thanks again!

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