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new here-TAH 7/8 for possible Ovarian Cancer new here-TAH 7/8 for possible Ovarian Cancer

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Unread 07-02-2004, 10:13 PM
new here-TAH 7/8 for possible Ovarian Cancer

I am SO happy to have found this website full of strong, supportive and very knowledgeable women!

A not-so-quick intro on me: I'm 34 and have the BRCA1 gene mutation. I've been very proactive in monitoring for ovarian and breast cancer. When I became pregnant with my 3rd child last fall and had an ultrasound at 8 weeks they found an ovarian cyst. It was still there at the 20 week ultrasound and I questioned why it was still there but was reassured it looked fluid filled. No more ultrasounds and had baby girl May 2. One month later I started experiencing steadily increasing pain that alternated between right and left ovary area. Ultrasound last week showed recently ruptured cyst on right ovary. I'm assuming this was the cyst I had during pregnancy. Pain got worse after this and was mostly on left side but started going down front of legs which also became numb at times. Went to ER and had MRI (showed bulging discs in back) and CAT scan (showed 2.5 cm cyst on right ovary and small amount of fluid in pelvis). Had another ultrasound yesterday which showed no cyst, but small follicles on right side and a moderate amount of pelvic fluid, but no pelvic masses. Met with gyn onc today who recommended TAH on July 8 due to fluid and family history/BRCA1. He did a pelvic exam and everything felt normal. He said he thinks I might have just ovulated (I'm exclusively breastfeeding so I don't know how that could be) and doesn't think it's ovarian cancer, but the fluid concerns him and he can't be sure with surgery.

I'm so confused about the fluid and the horrible pain I'm in when the ovaries check out fine. Now this may just be anxiety, but the past few days I'm also having back/side pain around ovaries and bad heartburn even when I haven't eaten which almost feels like chest pain when I breathe. I also have no appetite at all.

Did any of you have similar symptoms before ov cancer diagnosis? Is it possible to have ov cancer with no masses on ovaries? Once the fluid is there, does that mean it's late stage cancer? Any feedback you might have for this worry wart is greatly appreciated.

Happy 4th of July and God Bless all of you!

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Unread 07-02-2004, 11:05 PM
new here-TAH 7/8 for possible Ovarian Cancer

I'm new to this site too, and don't know a lot, but am learning as fast as I can, since I have found out I have ovarian cancer.

I would think if the cyst was fluid filled only, and not 'complex', (partially not fluid) then it would be ok. It sounds like your doctor just wants to play it safe, wich is not a bad thing.
Has you doctor done a CA125 blood test? If so, and that is not high, then that is also a good thing. If he hasn't done that, you might ask for it.
From what I understand, IF it did turn out to be cancer, fluid in the abdomon dose not automatically make it late stage. Late stage would be if it is in other organs beyond the pelvis etc.

The unknown stuff is always the hardest. It's easy to worry when we don't know what is going on. At least don't worry about it being late stage because of fluid, as I don't think that is possible.

I hope this aleves some of your worry.
Unread 07-02-2004, 11:47 PM
new here-TAH 7/8 for possible Ovarian Cancer

Thank you Sus for your reply and encouragement. I had my first ca125 today. My previous doctor didn't do them due to false +. I won't know results until Tuesday.

I hope you are doing well and have a nice weekend.

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Unread 07-02-2004, 11:50 PM
new here-TAH 7/8 for possible Ovarian Cancer


I know you have the family history, but it seems like your GYN-oncologist is rushing into things -- surgery in 5 days? What about laparoscopy with biopsies, with a consent IF malignancy is found? Also, has the oncologist done a CA-125? It's not a perfect marker -- but if you do have malignancy, it can be a way to track your therapy.

Trying to make these final decisions when you are so early in the post-partum period is very difficult. I wouldn't be surprised about ovulation -- I ovulated about 8 wks after my DD was born, while breastfeeding pretty exclusively. I was quite surprised!

It just seems like your doctor is heading into a drastic option without much in the way of diagnostic procedures other than the ultrasound. It may be that you DO need a hyst, but it may just be that you had a large cyst that ruptured, and the fluid collection they found is the fluid from the cyst and from the inflammation the cyst itself causes.

I hope you're able to get some answers -- and that everything turns up benign!!

Unread 07-03-2004, 07:59 AM
new here-TAH 7/8 for possible Ovarian Cancer

Hi Kristi!

I'm Kay and am having surgery on the 8th too at 6:30 am
They think it could be OC because I have an enlarged ovary and a cyst with a CA count of 63. It could be just endometrosis but I guess you just don't know till they get in there and start checking.
I had been having pain and gas and lost some weight.
I did my pre-op stuff yesterday but that was only blood work and insurance papers. I have to do the bowel pre starting tuesday.
I'm praying our surgeries go well with no OC anywhere!!
Unread 07-03-2004, 08:01 AM
new here-TAH 7/8 for possible Ovarian Cancer

Kristi --

If there is no cancer - why is he recomending a TAH? I understand removing your ovaries, but not the hyst

The rate of ovarian cancer for those of us who are brca positive is pretty high, but if you do not actually have cancer, a hyst is not needed. If there is no cancer, then you could watch and wait with screenings, or you could simply have your ovaries removed. For brca positive women, prophylactic oopherectomy reduces the rate of breast cancer significantly. The big advantage to just having your ovaries removed is that the hospital stay and recovery is considerably less. It can be done through a laproscope, often as same day surgery, and you can be pretty functional in a day or two. With a hyst, you are looking at 2 nights in the hospital and up to a 6 week recovery period (although I was pretty functional after a week - not everyone is)

I was in your boat (albeit 10 years older) when I had my hyst. I was all set for having just my ovaries removed, when I did find out I had very early stage ovarian cancer.

In the interest of full informed consent, you should also discuss whether your gyn onc will recommend estrogen replacement after your hyst. Mine used to be quite liberal with it, but now will recommend low dose for short time use only - and some don't prescribe it at all.

I am sorry that you are dealing with all of this while still post-partum. Enjoy that lovely baby

Unread 07-03-2004, 10:08 AM
new here-TAH 7/8 for possible Ovarian Cancer

s Kristi

Just wanted to say I am so sorry you are going through this at such a young age and with a newborn to care for.
It sounds like you are seeing a gyn onc. Good for you as they are the experts. Hopefully this will all be nothing.
It sounds as though the fluid in your pelvis is what is so concerning. My own gyn/onc will not do laproscopic biopsies of ovaries. She insists upon removal for pathology. So I do undertand your gyn/onc push for surgery. However, if the quick biopsy (frozen section) does not show cancer, perhaps a hysterectomy will not be necessary.
Best wishes. Please stop back and update us.

Unread 07-05-2004, 05:48 AM
new here-TAH 7/8 for possible Ovarian Cancer

I had an ultrasound over a year ago that showed a small amount of free pelvic fluid. My doctors were not at all concerned about that. My oncologist told me last week that pelvic fluid can be caused by having recently ovulated??

Now I have a cyst that needs investigation, ultrasound next week. I have leg swelling (also have had the pain and numbness in legs, especially the left one) pain/pressure in my lower left side, fevers since last november and abdominal swelling after my mastectomy last month (I have breast cancer and very likely the brca mutation) I have had abnormal paps for over a year but I keep being told that it is unrelated (somehow I just don't believe that since they can't give a conclusive diagnosis after my colposcopy/biopsies)

anyway.. I just wanted to tell you what my onc said about pelvic fluid.

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