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3 yr BC survivor, now uterus questions... 3 yr BC survivor, now uterus questions...

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Unread 06-01-2003, 05:55 PM
3 yr BC survivor, now uterus questions...

hello, it was suggested I post her for some input. I do not think I have cancer but some of you may have had similar issues.
I went to a new GYN office due to heavy periods and anemia. I was just seeing a local DR once in a while for paps.
They found fibriods and possibly adenmyosis. Recommended a hyster.
They gave me Ponstel to try to lighten the flow. I used it with my next period and it worked but I had side effects and they told me not to use it again.That was in Feb and I have not had a period since. I have been very regular even though I am 50 yrs old. Last week I had a follow up ultrasound, I told the tech about my periods stopping. She said my lining was extremly thick and the DR would want to follow up. The DR called me and scheduled a biopsy, she says my lining should only be .5 and it is 1.7 (whatever measurements they use)
She is worried I might have very excessive bleeding. Once again she tells me she would rather have that " out of there! "

So my questions are.. has anyone at my age had very thick lining issues and what did you do? Did anyone have this and then bleed profusely? I have a lot of big plans coming up, I am scared to death I may begin bleeding and not even know it, or just flood through my clothes. I am going to Spain this summer, I worry that I might be having extreme periods, worse than before, with this build up I seem to have.
I am not crazy about having a hyster, because my only trouble was heavy bleeding ( not nearly as bad as most gals here report) and anemia. And I worry I will trade old problems for new ones.

Now that my periods stopped I thought that settled my dilema, but my DR says no way, it might even be worse now.
any input welcome !!
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Unread 06-01-2003, 08:48 PM
3 yr BC survivor, now uterus questions...

I had my hysto for fibroids, but also had thickened lining. Pathology report came back fine. I hope that gives you some encouragement
Unread 06-02-2003, 04:29 AM
3 yr BC survivor, now uterus questions...

If you are having an endometrial biopsy, definitely wait for a full evaluation of the results before doing anything else, and if there is the slightest suspicion of cancer, have the results evaluated by a gynaecological oncologist. Frankly, if it isn't cancer, there are lots of different ways of managing heavy bleeding from fibroids medically: ponstel is only one. I think you may come to regret a hysterectomy unless it is a last resort and you can therefore convince yourself that it was really unavoidable. You will go into surgical menopause, much more abrupt and usually troublesome than natural menopause, even at age 50, and the recovery time from a hysterectomy is at least six to eight weeks.

The other perspective is that at your age, your bleeding problems, if benign, will certainlyh resolve naturally quite soon. Don't have a hysterectomy out of fear, even cancer fear, but let it be a considered decision. Even if it turns out to be cancer, spending two weeks carefully considering your options is not going to make a long-term difference.

I declined a hysterectomy, even though I was told by my gyn / onc that I had a 25% to 30% chance of having ovarian cancer. My tumour turned out to be benign. I took a risk, but it was a carefully calculated risk and now I have no regrets whatsoever. I do not have raging cancer fear either, though I do have a little bit of cancer respect, which is motivating me to improve my life-style with regards to diet, exercise, meditation, etc. - no bad thing!

Good luck with your decision, but above all don't panic or allow your doctor to rush you to treatment.
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Unread 06-02-2003, 04:36 AM
3 yr BC survivor, now uterus questions...

Sorry, I forgot to say I am also 50 and have fibroids. I have had two episodes of very heavy bleeding leading to anaemia. The anaemia was resolved with supplementary iron and the bleeding with medication. My periods are now much less regular so I know the end is in sight. Going from having regular periods to having a gap of a few months is very typical in peri-menopause. Your bleeding problems are probably already resolving themselves.
Unread 06-02-2003, 09:14 AM
3 yr BC survivor, now uterus questions...


The key issue here ladies is not fibroids. Millions of women have/had fibroids. Her Dr. said "thickening" of the uterus,this compounded with irregular bleeding/anemia signal abnormal.
The American Cancer Society even states this in their warning messages.
What does your gut tell you? Do you trust your Physician?
I had your symptoms. I had a hysterectomy. I also had Cancer that was not detected in a PAP, Biopsy, or D&C. It was in the wall of my uterus which is highly vascular, it caused the uterus to thicken. It also prevented any testing to detect it. The key to all
Cancer is early detection. Sometimes they can't tell until they get in there.
Get a second opinion. Do not hope it goes away.
Unread 06-02-2003, 03:33 PM
listen to the ladies here

I was just going for a routine ultrasound to check an errant calcification on an ovary last year. They saw thickening, had biopsy, caught cancer early! Maybe not as happy an ending as spending the summer in Spain, but heck, think of all the summers I have left to spend in Spain (if I could afford it :-) )
Unread 06-02-2003, 04:24 PM
3 yr BC survivor, now uterus questions...

Hi. Among other concerns, I had long periods of heavy bleeding and assumed this was "normal" perimenopausal stuff. (Historically, I had very easy periods, no more than 4 days or so in duration. This was a relatively recent development.) Well, the bleeding just got to be too ridiculous and when I went to see my Dr., she recommended a pelvic sonogram. That showed an unusual thickening of the lining of the uterus. (Not outrageous, just thicker than normal.) Then, she did an endometrial biopsy which came back benign but showed a "complex hyperplasia" which she described as a pre-cancerous condition. Well, upon removing the uterus during the hysterectomy, they found out that, in fact, there WAS cancer in the lining of the uterus which had also infiltrated the cervix. Because of the heavy bleeding, my Dr was unable to do a PAP smear during my initial visit in April. All prior PAP's were normal.

I'm 45 years old. As I said, I had other concerns (cancer found in the ovaries, too) so just over 6 weeks ago, I had a TAH BSO -- they took everything. From my perspective, they can have 'em! I don't need 'em! I don't feel any emotional ties to those organs and I'm happier without them. I don't feel like I'm less of a woman because I don't have my ovaries, in fact, I lost a few pounds after the surgery and look great. Yes, I'm going through menopause and even though I joke about how awful it is sometimes, it's really not that bad.

I have a friend who was just diagnosed with pancreatic and liver cancer. My immediate thought was how lucky am I that they found cancer in organs that I don't need?

Thank you for posting, Vacay. Please go get your second opinion and continue your research. I agree totally that you should not make your decision based on fear. This is my opinion only: Weigh what you're actually going to do with those organs against the peace of mind you'll have knowing that ovarian and uterine cancers are two less things you'll be worrying about down the road. Good luck to you.
Unread 06-02-2003, 07:00 PM
3 yr BC survivor, now uterus questions...

Gosh all of you ladies have had good insight and information to share, as we can see this is a complicted issue.
If they find even one funny cell, it's all going ! When I had the bloody discharge from my nipple, they told me there was a 1 in 10 chance it was cancer, I blew it off but did the biopsy, and WHAMO!
I will seek a specialist if anything odd is found and even if I decide to have a hysterectomy for other reasons I will seek a second opinon. It does make me feel better that surgical menopause can be described as "not that bad"
And I know I can live without my uterus. I am doing just fine without my breast
And to top this all off I began my period today... this also may help me decide if I need to take action or if I will just ride it out. If it is horrible I will seek a second opinion right away and try to sort it all out.
here's another question, can they do a biopsy while you are bleeding?
Unread 06-02-2003, 07:57 PM
3 yr BC survivor, now uterus questions...

An endometrial biopsy? Yes, they can.
Unread 06-02-2003, 11:07 PM
3 yr BC survivor, now uterus questions...

Congrats on your 3 years. I am also a BC survivor. I also had a bloody nipple discharge and found out it was cancer by the nipple smear. Anyway, I also have had endometrial hyperplasia which the lining of the uterus was 23 mm thick (which is 2.3 cm). My gyn. had me take Provera for 10 days and I bled for 2 1/2 weeks although, not profusely. Then a few weeks later I went in for the endometrial biopsy which everything came out clean. Haven't had a period since and that was 8 months ago, so I am due to have another biopsy. I think all of my problems are just due to a hormonal imbalance. I am 45 years old and never thought I would ever have to deal with any of these problems. I was taking Tamoxifen but I have read that this can fuel the growth of uterine fibroids and ovarian cysts (which I also have) and it can cause endometrial cancer. I hope everything turns out great for you and you may email me anytime.


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