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Unread 12-16-2003, 10:33 AM
ovarian cancer concern

Well, I haven't posted in a long time. I was scheduled for a TAH/BSO in early October but my gyn canceled it and referred me a different doctor. I had a mass in my left ovary. He thought maybe this other doctor could just do a biopsy instead of a hyst. This other doctor sent me for a doppler study of the mass and I didn't receive the news I thought I would yesterday. The mass has blood flow, septations, and fluid in the cul de sac. Whatever all this means, it doesn't sound to good. This gyn is sending me to an onc. Friday. The mass apparently has the characteristics of cancer. I am 37 years old, happily married and my husband has been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. I am an only child and I just HAVE to be here for my parents. They lost my brother at age 8 of leukemia. My head is spinning and I'm scared. Not really for me, because I know I'll go to a better place when my time comes, but more scared for my family. I haven't even talked to the cancer dr. yet and I have so many questions. The mass is apparently about the size of lemon and I hear that ovarian cancer is known as the "silent killer". I am just sooooooooo confused, scared, shocked, etc. You are very brave women!!!! This is a tremendous thing you have gone through and I admire you all.
Thanks for listening to my whining after what all you have been through,
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Unread 12-16-2003, 11:28 AM
ovarian cancer concern

s Debbie

Try and relax. This time of uncertainty is the most difficult.
Unfortunately with ovarian cancer it takes surgery for a definite diagnosis.
I'm glad you will be seeing a gyn oncology surgeon. They are the experts with ovarian problems. Have you had a ca 125 blood test?
Hopefully your mass will turn out to be benign.
But if you need us, we are here. And are loaded with tips, advice and hugs.
Be in touch.

Unread 12-16-2003, 01:18 PM
ovarian cancer concern

I am glad to hear that you are seeing an oncologist. They are the experts. Waiting is THE worst part. Once you see him and have some idea of what you have and a treatment plan, you will feel so much better.

How do you know that the mass has characteristics of cancer? Who told you that? I am asking because I don't know if blood flow, etc, is a good thing or not.

From what women with ovarian tell me is there most common symptom is that they gain a lot around their middle and within a couple of weeks they can't button their pants. This is due to ascites, water that accummulates in the abdomen. Did your sonogram show fluid in the abdomen area? I remember that my sonogram results said 'no abdominal fluid'. I had cervical cancer, not ovarian.

Do you have children? Were you on the BC pill? Did you breastfeed? All of these things help to reduce the chances of ovarian cancer. Remember, MOST women with ovarian problems do NOT have ovarian cancer.

I know it's easier said that done, but try not to worry. Make a list of all your questions, so that you won't forget them when you see the oncologist. Ask him to write down your diagnosis and treatment plan. My onc did that and it was wonderfully helpful. I went back to his drawings and diagnosis over and over. Most women find it of help to take their husbands with them. I didn't do that, and I was fine, because everything was written down for me. But you might want to take someone else who may be more clear headed than you will be. Your husband may be able to think of questions that you will be too overwhelmed to think to ask.
No matter what the doctor says, this isn't an automatic death sentence! You will still be there for your parents and your husband. This will be a little detour while you focus on your own health for a time, then you'll be right back up to speed to help the others. And that's IF you have cancer. That's a big IF, as chances are greater that you don't have it than you do have it!

You'll make it, just like all these others wonderful ladies have made it!

Unread 12-16-2003, 02:03 PM
ovarian cancer concern

Thanks for your support. I did have the CA125 test in August by the first gyn. It came back OK. The dr. has told me that a large blood flow, septations or compartments, and fluid in the cul de sac are signs of cancer. When he ordered these tests 2 weeks ago, he said that if it had these things, it would probably be cancer. Yesterday when he got the readings of the ultrasound and it had all these things present, he said it could be cancer. I guess I felt like he thought it was and didn't want to be the one to tell me so he sent me to an oncologist. I am thankful for that!! I feel more secure going to someone who specializes in this area. The one thing that gives me hope is the CA125 test. Of course, the good Lord gives up all hope!! I have no idea what the cul de sac is, can someone help me with that one. Just reading your posts and hearing the positive attitudes has really helped me today. At least I can talk to someone who knows what it's like to be told you might have cancer.
Unread 12-16-2003, 03:04 PM
Cul de sac

Have you tried doing a google search, with the words Ovary and cul de sac? That might give you some clue as to what it is. If I had to guess, the cul de sac is that open area that the ovaries and tubes surround. Those organs form a kind of C, the open part of that 'C' may be what they are calling the cul de sac. But do a search and you will probably get a better definition as I am just guessing.

Unread 12-16-2003, 06:43 PM
ovarian cancer concern


Sorry to hear about the extra concerns you have going on right now. I'm so glad you've been referred to a gyn/onc--they are the experts when it comes to these types of issues.

Here's a link to a site about pelvic anatomy. It might help a little with the cul-de-sac question (it's labeled in the picture):

Pelvic Anatomy

And here's the definition I found: "cul-de-sac": the area behind the uterus and in front of the rectum.

Good luck! Please let us know how things are going. I will keep you in my 'ers.
Unread 12-16-2003, 07:44 PM
ovarian cancer concern

Hi Debbie.

The term "The Silent Killer" is not true any more. Today, ovarian cancer is treated as a cronic disease like arthritis. There may not ever be a cure but there are certainly lots and lots of treatments available.

I am glad that you are seeing an oncologist/gynocologist.

Keep in touch..
Unread 12-16-2003, 11:35 PM
ovarian cancer concern

Dear Twister,

I was your age (a mere few months ago) when I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. But my symptoms were pronounced and consistent with ovarian cancer. I of course didn't know that at the time. But . . . as Karenann and others have said, it's best to wait to see what the doctors find. I was fairly certain of my diagnosis before surgery, but that's because I had an accumulation of fluid in my abdomen called ascites, which showed up on the CT scan.

I'm happy you've got the referral to the oncologist. They really are the experts -- particularly gynecological oncologists, who specialize in gyn cancers. When will you see him/her? If surgery is recommended, they might not know what you have until they get in there. Even with my situation, where all signs pointed to cancer, my doctors still said that they wouldn't really know what was going on until they opened me up.

I'm so sorry you're having to go through all this fright and worry. I've been there, and it's no fun. We're all thinking about you. Please keep us posted!

Unread 12-17-2003, 12:50 AM
ovarian cancer concern

I have to tell you that endometriomas can look an awful lot like cancer, complete with elevated CA-125 and increased blood flow in the septated cyst. That's why I had my surgery.

Yes, there are some concerns. Free fluid in the pelvic area can be a sign of cancer, but can also be a leaking cyst. Endometriomas are septated, and full of a fluid that is quite dense on ultrasound, mimicking a solid mass. You can get increased blood flow with either condition, but there is an index that the interpreters use to characterize the different types of blood flow.

I'm glad you're seeing the oncologist. If it turns out to be endo (not that endo is any picnic ), that can lead to a tricky surgery at best, especially in light of the blood flow study. You're in good hands.

Take care. Many of us have walked this road, and as you see, are continuing to thrive; sometimes it is cancer -- but sometimes it is not.

Unread 12-17-2003, 09:56 AM
ovarian cancer concern

Hi Debbie,

I too am in the same place as you. I had a similar situation a year ago and was scheduled to have a total hysterectomy along with my c-section delivery. My masses also showed septation, fluid, but no blood flow. My CA125 was negative. They removed one ovary and 60% of the other. Everything was benign. Praise the Lord!! I went in for an ultrasound last friday and I have another cyst, mass, tumor (everyone calls it something different) on that little bit of ovary. I am scared too!! I will pray for you-- The waiting is the worst part!! Just remember that things can look really questionable on the ultrasound, but not be cancer.


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