Hi everyone, I posted this question right before the recent crash and never had a chance to view any answers. Would anyone know how they can tell (from an ultrasound) the difference between a tumor and a fibroid?
I ask because on my ultrasound they saw (so did I) a huge black shadow and they told me it was a fibroid. Well, it just dawned on me and my husband that, since they didn't do any biopsy, how do they know it was just a fibroid and not a cancerous tumor??
After all I have had precancer before and a family history of it!!
If anyone can tell me anything to ease my mind until I talk to the Dr. at pre-op on the 6th of Oct. I would appreciate it.
I'm no expert on fibroids, but have done a little reading (I did not have fibroids). Fibroids are a benign uterine tumor. They are not typically cancerous, and the sources I've read have said that less than 1% are found to be cancerous. Unfortunately, you really don't know for sure if it's cancer or not unless a biopsy is done, but it would appear that the odds are with you. Ask your doctor for more specific information.
Jeanine, thanks for replying. I know fibroids are usually not cancerous but our confusion (hubby and I ) is that how were they sure that it was a fibroid and nothing else if they didn't do a biopsy. After-all, couldn't a black shadow be either one?
My husband says maybe he was waiting til he opened me up, but isn't waiting bad ( if it was a cancerous tumor ) ??
He told me about this fibroid 3 mths ago, a rather large one.
I think when a mass is found in the uterus they consider it to be a fibroid. A fibroid is technically a tumor, they just usually turn out to be non cancerous matter. Jeanine mentioned that only 1% are cancerous, I don't want to make you nervous but I fell in that 1% (just my luck LOL.) My gyno actually removed 90% of it earlier this month, the pathology report came back showing a small portion of the fibroid contained cancerous cells, that's why the hysterectomy now.
As far as how long they're in your system, I had been suffering with bleeding problems since June, but thinking back I've realized that this is probably what has caused my past problems with my period and most likely was the reason intercourse has always been painful for me, so I think I've had the fibroid a long time, I just don't know how long it's been cancerous.
You should try to think positively until you're given a reason to worry. Honestly, it came from left field when they mentioned cancer to me, I never for a second that I would hear that. Chances of you being in that 1% are slim to none.
Sometimes the radiologists know with at least almost certainty just from looking at an ultrasound. That was the case with a lump in my breast. Last November I was diagnosed with ductal carcinoma in situ in my left breast. Same indicator was showing on mammogram in right breast. After looking at the lump under ultrasound, two radiologists were virtually certain that it was not DCIS / malignant tumor again. I did have biopsy. While looking at the lump on the screen during the biopsy, the radiologist said she was able to "roll" it with the core needle. That was also an indication it was not a tumor. The radiologists were correct. The lump was a fibroadenoma -- nothing to worry about.
Have to say when I looked at the ultrasound screen -- just looked like a whole mess of dark shadows to me.
That's the problem with ultrasound: we can tell you when "something" is there -- but we can't usually tell you what that "something" is made of (unless it's fluid-filled).
Some masses are obvious because of their location and their characteristics. But other masses may be very difficult to say with 100% certainty, "this is benign".
Have you asked your doctor for a second opinion with a GYN-oncologist? If you have a history of "pre-cancers" (if they were in the cervix, this may not be related) they really are the experts, especially if it turns out to fall within that 1%. And they just have more surgical experience.
Other tests may help give you some peace of mind, such as a CT (which would identify with more certainty exactly where the fibroid is) or labwork. And ask about that consult! They would also be able to answer your questions about waiting (although with mine, even though it looked like advanced ovarian CA, my GYN-oncologist felt that waiting another week to month wouldn't make a difference in the outcome). But I totally understand -- you feel like there's this alien in there, and you just want it OUT, biopsied...and benign!
Your odds are excellent that it is benign, but the oncologist would be a safety check -- if it isn't, having them do your surgery can mean the difference between one surgery or two...and make a difference in your final outcome!
Good luck -- they aren't kidding when they say the waiting is the hardest part (I worked a lot ).
The women who have posted before me are right on the money in saying that ultrasounds cannot diagnose or rule out cancer. I had a pelvic ultrasound as part of my diagnostic workup before my endometrial cancer diagnosis. The ultrasound concluded that the mass found was a "probable fibroid." However, an endometrial biopsy later diagnosed cancer. While my gyn-onc originally thought that he would find both cancer and a fibroid at the time of surgery, I did not have a fibroid at all. My gyn-onc told me after surgery that the "probable fibroid" turned out to be the major site of my cancer.
I tell you this not to worry you, but just to reinforce that an ultrasound cannot definitively diagnose or rule out cancer. Only pathological evaluation of an actual tissue sample can do that. Keep in mind that I was 51 at the time of diagnosis; therefore, I was in an age category when cancer is much more likely than you are at 34. I believe the odds are greatly in your favor that your "fibroid" is really a fibroid. However, the final determination can only be made after surgery.
Good luck to you and try not to worry (easier said than done, I know!)
You have already been given great advise and opinions since you first posted your message.
I just wanted to emphasize one important point addressed by Audrey.
I would implore you (if you haven't already) to seek the advise of a gyn/onc, as Audrey stated, they are the EXPERTS!
That is precisely one of the reasons I joined this support group just yesterday to inform as many women as I can.
My sister, who just had a TAH/BSO for OC, with no risk factors, had been misdiagnosed for some time until she finally became PROACTIVE and sought the advise from a gyn/onc. Every other doctor just dismissed her symptoms as irritable bowel syndrome.
There is an online site to locate a doctor in your area through the
Society of Gynecologic Oncologists (SGO)
That's what I did for my appointment this morning to be screened since I am now at a higher risk since my sister's diagnosis.
I feel certain that in your case you have nothing to fear, however, I would leave no stone unturned to find out.
I know this is a difficult thing to do for any of us having to wait for results but a great friend of mine once told me.....
"Don't pay the interest until the interest is due"
Hi they also told me I had Fibroids but it turned out to be a cervix cancer at the 3rd stage metaisis....to lypmths
but at first they didnt do anything and then as i was bleeding from the front while i passed stool and i was for 20 days they done a bio...... which said of the cancer... they told me and they were not sure for the operation i went to another hosptipal and they done the operation ...... i am stil undergoing treatment.....
Of course it dont mean to say that you may have but get it checked up on quickly even privatly
I also went to the hospital 2 years agoe as i was bleeding adn they said it was nothing and didnt even do a pap test. they said all is Ok so i belived them adnwent home to find out 2 years later the cancer is at the stage 3.........so dont leave it there check it out...
nothing to be afraid of......... better to see then to wait......