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Endometrial Cancer Diagnosis Help! Endometrial Cancer Diagnosis Help!

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Unread 04-28-2008, 09:57 AM
Endometrial Cancer Diagnosis Help!

I was diagnosed with breast cancer in Aug. 1997 and again in Oct. 2006. I was put on Lupron shots and Tamoxifen, I have been on that for 15 months. NOW I have been diagnosed with a well-differntiated endometroid carcinoma.
I see the gyn oncologist today and wondered what are some good questions to ask.
I wonder if I can do a hysterectomy laproscopic? I had a c section in the early 80's.
I am terrified.

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Unread 04-29-2008, 03:34 PM
Endometrial Cancer Diagnosis Help!

I am sorry you are now facing endometrial cancer. I noticed your post too late to suggest question for your visit with the gyn/onc but hope your session today was productive and went well.
There are women who have had laparoscopic hysterectomies with this dx and I am sure they will come along soon to reply. My gyn/onc, who did both types of surgeries recommened an abdominal/ vertical inscision for me and individual surgeons may have particular preferences including based on patient's dx, etc.
Please let us know how your visit went and don't hesitate to ask any questions, etc. You will find a very supportive group of women here.
Unread 04-29-2008, 05:55 PM
Endometrial Cancer Diagnosis Help!

I am also sorry I didn't see your post prior to your appt. ... What did the gyn/onc say?
i was told by my doctor that it would be an abdominal (vert. incision) surgery also.. He said that way they can get a better view of all your internal organs and also get the lymph nodes and pelvic wash. The healing process takes a bit longer, but having a good check up while they're in there will give you a greater sense of well-being.
My Mom went with me to my appt. when the onc. wanted to put me on Tamoxifen after the surgery. She has had breast cancer surgery twice and said her doctor told her that the Tamoxifen can cause endometrial cancer.
Are you still on the Lupron and Tamoxifen or will they discontinue that.?
Please post again and let us know what is happening.
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Unread 04-29-2008, 07:01 PM
Endometrial Cancer Diagnosis Help!

If an abdominal hysterectomy has already been recommended for you, Meili, please disregard this long post and know that I am hoping for the best possible outcome for you.

As we know, doctors differ in their professional opinions and this post is not intended in any way to be critical of a hystersister and/or her doctor. And, all of us are different, which I am sure contributes to the different answers we receive from our doctors. BTW, I work for attorneys and I know firsthand that if you ask two different attorneys in the firm the same question, you may get two different answers!

I took tamoxifen for four years because I have a sister with breast cancer and the Gail test assessed me at high risk. I knew when I first started taking it that endometrial cancer was a possible side effect. After four years, I decided I had taken it long enough - I was supposed to take it for five years. I stopped the tamoxifin in 2004 and I was diagnosed with moderately differentiated endometrial adenocarcinoma in March of this year.

As part of my medical history, I told the gyn/onc about taking tamoxifen. When I asked my gyn/onc about whether the tamoxifin caused the cancer, he told me that I had made the right decision in taking the tamoxifin. He gave me the statistical averages for getting breast cancer without the tamoxifen and for getting endrometrial cancer because of the tamoxifin. My risk of getting breast cancer if I had not taken the tamoxifin was greater than my risk of getting endometrial cancer from taking the tamoxifin.

When the gyn/onc recommended laproscopic surgery, he said that my "habitus" - which I believe is my pelvic area and how my organs are situated - made it possible for him to do the surgery laproscopically. I was worried that perhaps he would not see enough or be able to retrieve enough lymph nodes, etc., and I told him I would prefer abdominal surgery if that gave him a better view. He assured me that he would be able to do it laproscopically. His resident told me that he only does one hysterectomy a week this way, so I do not think I was being pushed into it to suit the gyn/onc's "agenda." I signed a consent giving him permission to switch to an abdominal hysterectomy if they determined during surgery that would be necessary.

My tubes and ovaries came out through four small holes on either side of my bellybutton. My uterus was removed through my vagina. All of these organs were encapsulated in "baggies" before removal to prevent the potential spread of cancer cells. Five lymph nodes were removed from either side and dissected while my surgery was going on, so that they could take more lymph nodes if needed during the surgery. A hole above my bellybutton was used to insert the camera needed for the surgery.

All of the holes were glued shut. Steri strips covered the big hole; band-aids covered the other hole. I am 6 weeks out and two of the scabs from the holes have fallen off and the rest seem almost ready to go.

Laproscopic surgery is supposed to lead to less blood loss and less infection. I did not have to have any blood during surgery and none of the holes have become infected.

I have never had abdominal surgery so I can't compare the two types of surgery. I have been very pleased with the results in terms of my healing and no complications thus far.
Unread 04-29-2008, 07:41 PM
Endometrial Cancer Diagnosis Help!

I had two C-sections and my gyn/oncologist was still able to perform my radical hysterectomy using the DaVinci robotic method. Good luck and know that your gyn/oncologist will know what is the best way to do surgery for you.

I also understand how concerned you are. I just had a breast tumor removed last week and the pathologist said it had atypical cells. I know it is not cancer but they said I am prone to tumors so now I have to worry about when something is going to go from atypical cells to cancer cells.
Unread 04-29-2008, 08:25 PM
Endometrial Cancer Diagnosis Help!

Hi Meili,

Yes, it is possible to do a hysterectomy for cancer by laparoscopic method (in other words, a cancer staging surgery). It will depend on what's right for your particular diagnosis.

Keep in touch and let us know how it goes in your consultation with the gyn/onc. Best wishes to you.
Unread 04-30-2008, 08:25 AM
Endometrial Cancer Diagnosis Help!


I think the type of surgery done is more dependent on the preferences of the surgeon than on what type/extent of cancer you have.

My GYN/ONC only believes in doing the vertical cut to remove the cancer. He told me it was to get a better look, and that was all I needed to know. I would have loved the vaginal to have fewer scars, but I had faith in him and wanted my surgery done as soon as possible. The most important thing at the time was to get the cancer out of me and as soon as possible!

Best of luck with your surgery.

Unread 04-30-2008, 11:47 AM

Thank you so much for your responses. It is great to know there is a place to come and get more info.
Doctor believes this has been caught very early and a hysterectomy will be all that needs to be done. He does believe the Tamoxifen is the culprit to my endometrial cancer.
So on May 23 I will be having a Da Vinci hysterectomy. They have told me this is a very easy surgery and I should be home the next day. I was like WOW!
So we are praying that everything will be OK.
Unread 05-01-2008, 02:26 AM
Endometrial Cancer Diagnosis Help!

Best to you during your surgery... The only other thing I can suggest is to get a bunch of meals together, clean the house, and go out and enjoy yourself... Hopefully your recovery will be as quick as your hospital stay.
Unread 05-01-2008, 05:39 AM
Endometrial Cancer Diagnosis Help!

I had the DaVinci surgery in November. I was operated on at 7:30 AM and was home the next day by 6:00PM. I could've been home sooner, but nobody explained the gas pains that shoot up into your shoulders, so the nurse gave me a pain killer that made me really nauseaous and I was afraid to get in the car to drive home. Other than that one pill I only took Tylenol for pain. It's still surgery and no walk in the park, but the DaVinci surgery is great. I was up and using the bathroom by 3:00 the same afternoon. I was glad that my doctor insisted on it for me and that I was able to book it quickly. You're going to do great!
Hang in there! This will all be behind you before you know it!

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