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cervical cancer - what now? cervical cancer - what now?

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Unread 12-14-2000, 10:45 PM
cervical cancer - what now?

Thanks for this site - it sure helps to know you aren't alone! They found cancer on my cervix, and I'm scheduled for a TAH/BSO on Dec 28th. I was very blown away with the news of having a hysterectomy, and didn't ask any questions. But I sure have some now:
If the cancer is limited to my cervix (ultrasound/CT scan results make that very likely) why do they need to remove my ovaries? The Dr said "at your age..."(I'm 50)" I'll take out the ovaries as well".
The Dr says he will install some kind of cathiter that will protrude from my belly. This will be in place even after I leave the hospital. Why? Does he intend to destroy my bladder? Why would I consent to this? I live about 75 miles from the hospital/doctor. What if this turns really ugly, and I need it removed?
I got the strong impression that this Dr would have preferred that I got radiation instead of surgery. He said that I might have to have this anyway. Whwe.
Can anybody answer any of these questions?
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Unread 12-15-2000, 04:09 AM
cervical cancer - what now?

Hello Bev, sorry but I don't have any answers to those questions. This is just to let you know that you are in my prayers. You should write all these questions down and ask your Dr. before your operation. It is his duty to explain things to you. Best of luck, take care
Unread 12-15-2000, 06:10 AM
cervical cancer - what now?

I also had cervical cancer but since I am in my thirties, the doc left my ovaries. I will still be using them for a while and he said that they looked good. I didn't have a catheter when I left the hospital. I had a regular one for a few hours after surgery and that was it. The doc probably is figuring that you won't be needing your ovaries because you would be starting menopause soon anyways. There is a chance of them shutting down anyways, and he probably figures that if they are not there, then you won't have to worry about ovarian cysts, cancer, etc. I think that your age played a major role in this..also think of your family medical history. There may be another reason there.
Please remember that if you have a question, to write it down. We never think of any when we are face to face with the doc, but once we are in the car driving home they all come to us!! Best of luck to you!
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Unread 12-15-2000, 01:03 PM
cervical cancer - what now?

Hey Bev,
I had a TAH/BSO on 10/12/00. I had my cervix removed as cancer had spread there (Stage II Endometrial Cancer). I had a cath which was removed the second day after the surgery. You have to ask you Doctor more questions as right now the answers you have don't all add up. If you can, bring along someone with you next time to ask questions in case you can't as it is a very upsetting time. The more you know the better you will feel.
Unread 12-15-2000, 01:21 PM
cervical cancer - what now?

Hello Bev,

Make a list of all the questions and concerns you have. Then give your doctor a call to discuss what he is going to do and get the reasons why. I think it will ease your mind before the surgery and help you with your recovery. If you don't like the answers he gives you, you may even want to get a second opinion. Good luck and God bless!
Unread 12-15-2000, 01:39 PM
cervical cancer - what now?

I think the catheter he is talking about is an SP tube
(suprapubic). He will probably be doing a radical
hyst, which involves dissecting the area around the bladder.
The risk is disrupting the innervation of the bladder, which
can lead to some bladder dysfunction. It took me a few
days to figure out how to pee again. Some people have
permanent probs with incontinance. But death would be
much worse than that, don't you think? Anyway, the SP tube
is actually nice b/c it does not go in your urethra--foley
catheters are very irritating, where I didn't really even
notice the SP tube. They take it out depending on when
you are able to pee out more urine than the tube is taking
out of your bladder for you.

He prob wants to do the BSO b/c at your age, menopause
is emminent. It would be relatively difficut to track
when you would go through the change, without having
the obvious signs of menstrual irregularities to go by.
So, the easiest thing would be to start on HRT right away.
The benefit of this is less potential for you to lose
bone mass. The earlier to menopause that HRT is started,
the better bone mass women have. With you not having
periods, it may take months to years after menopause to
figure out when to start you on HRT (if you wanted HRT
at all)

If he didn't take the ovaries out, he would have to suspend
them out of the retroperitoneal space. Thgis is done in
case youi were to need radiation after the surgery. It
moves the ovaries out of the way of the beams, to lessen
the chance that they would get mutations and become
cancerous from the radiation.

Good luck. Make him talk to you. If he won't, get a
second opinion!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Amy
Unread 12-15-2000, 03:52 PM
cervical cancer - what now?

Hi Bev

I am having a radical done on Jan 4th for cervical cancer and I imagine this is what you are having. My wonderful gyn/oncologist took me into a room drew pictures and showed me exactly what he will be doing. The cateter is left in place longer than normal because in order to remove your lymph nodes to check for cancer they have to disect your ureturs(sp) which are like the little tubes that carry your urine from your bladder out of your body. So you need the catheter to allow them to heal.

I am only 37 so I am keeping my ovaries but I agree with Amy as to why he has said he will take yours but if you have a problem with him taking them you should discuss it with him after all I feel you should have an option.

My doctor gave me the option of radiation and explained to me that there is a possiblity I would need radiation if it was more progressed than what he thought but I made the choice to have the surgery first and he respected that even said if it was him he would do the same (of course I told him if it was HIM he had alot more problems LOL).

Email me anytime
Unread 12-18-2000, 10:53 PM
Kinda Long

Hi Bev:

Sorry to hear that you have to have surgery. I'm not sure what type of surgery you are having.

I had a radical hysterectomy in June of this year for cervical cancer. Oncologist guessed it at Stage 1B, but he wouldn't know for sure until the pathology results came back after surgery. For my cancer, Stage 1 meant that it had not spread any further than my cervix. If it was Stage 1B (the letter denotes the size of the tumor), I wouldn't need any further treatment. For cervical cancer, radiation after surgery is usually the treatment recommended. Fortunately my pathology report came back good.

In a radical hysterectomy, they remove your cervix, ovaries (not all of the time), the top third of your vagina, and about two dozen pelvic lymph nodes. They also remove more tissue than in a regular hysterectomy. They clean you out pretty good. I'm 42, and the surgeon recommended removing my ovaries due to my age. I didn't want children, so this wasn't even a consideration for me. I'm glad I did, because the pathology report indicated that I had a cyst on one of my ovaries.

I had to wear a catheter for a month after my surgery. During this particular surgery, the surgeon has to cut so many of the nerves around your bladder, you need the catheter in so the nerves and your bladder have plenty of time to rest and heal. The catheter is called a suprapubic catheter. During surgery, the doctor makes an incision right on the top of your pubic area and inserts the catheter. I'm sorry I can't tell you much more about that type. I had trouble with mine and had to have it removed about a week after surgery. I had to have a regular Foley catheter for the remainder of the time I had to wear one. After a month, the catheter was removed, and I had to self-catherize for a couple of weeks to see how well my bladder function had returned. I think one of the benefits of the suprapubic catheter is that you don't have to go through all of the self-cath stuff. There is some way that you can measure it with the suprapubic cath.

Sorry I got so long-winded. Please e-mail me at [email protected] if you have any other questions or would just like to talk to someone who's been through it. If not, good luck with your surgery. I'll be thinking about you. Please keep us posted.
Unread 12-20-2000, 09:47 PM
cervical cancer - what now?

Wow! Sorry for the long time between all of your replies and my getting back to you. I was thinking (or not, as the case may be)I'd get an e-mail telling me there was a reply. (I failed to check off that box!)
THANK YOU all for the great responses. You have really helped me to better understand what's going to happen. I will definitly write my questions down and bring them along. I have a pre-op appointment in the morning, and will attempt to get them answered at that time.
I never thought I would need to deal with the dreaded "C- word"(cancer). Linda is correct, the Dr did mention removing some lymph glands, and also said radiation after surgery is a possibility. This lack of bladder control has me distressed, tho.
Any suggestions as to what to do to get back muscle control post surgery?
I'm nervous, but so far not a wreck! - One week to go.
Unread 12-21-2000, 06:05 AM
cervical cancer - what now?

I believe that some muscle control will come back in time. As for what you can do beyond not waiting too long, your best bet is to ask the doctor. I know that I didn't have any bladder problemsposthyst, but I can't wait now like I use to. You have to keep in mind that your uterus is holding your bladder up, and when your uterus is not there, there will be no support. You should explain your feelings to the doc. He may want to do a bladder sling. Keep writing down all those questions!!

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