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Vaginal bleeding three years after Endo cancer Vaginal bleeding three years after Endo cancer

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Unread 07-22-2009, 10:12 AM
Vaginal bleeding three years after Endo cancer

I am so scared and need reassurance today.
Last night I used my Replens. This morning I was a bit constipated and used a glycerine suppository which worked and I had a violent bowel movement.
When I wiped (front only first) a huge clump of Replens came out and it had a large spot of bright red blood on it.I stared at it in disbelief and then in a daze I dropped it in the pan (should have kept it). I then wondered if it was blood from the back-I do have a lot of problems in that area but when I wiped there was nothing.
In a panic I called my doctor who saw me straight away.
We discussed my grade and stage one cancer which was over three years ago- I was given the all clear in March. Obviously I am frightened it has returned. She said it was highly unlikely and that it was probably because my vaginal skin is so thin (I cannot tolerate any type of HRT) or the blood was from the bowel movement.

Anyway she gave me a full internal and said everything looked in good shape down there and she couldn't see anything untoward-not even a raw area where I could have bled.
I have not had intercourse for about 4 days either.
She didn't seem that worried but said anyone in my situation would freak. Even she, herself as a doctor would.

She told me to go back if it happened again and she would refer me back to the hospital. So now I have to live in limboland and just when I really thought it was all behind me.
My sister told me she heard it was only dark or black blood that you have to worry about. This looked red.
By the way I live in UK and we dont have pap smears after cancer here. The surgeon said the best way of finding a recurrence is on examination and as I said-nothing unusual was seen.
Anyone's input would be appreciated.

uk lady
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Unread 07-22-2009, 10:35 AM
Re: Vaginal bleeding three years after Endo cancer

Hi UK,

These things are truly frighting. But I think you should be reassured by your doctor. You were smart to act on it right away and, as your doctor said, nothing suspicious was seen during the exam.

I know that my vaginal tissue is very thin and can get abraded or scraped easily. Plus I'm prone to hemorrhoids.

Anyway, I hope you feel better soon.
Unread 07-22-2009, 10:43 AM
Re: Vaginal bleeding three years after Endo cancer

So I should be totally reassured by the internal exam then? I have absolutely no knowlege of what symptoms there would be in a recurrence other than bleeding. I know I seem stupid, but I would there be some kind of lump internally or something? Thanks for your reassurance!

uk lady
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Unread 07-22-2009, 11:44 AM
Re: Vaginal bleeding three years after Endo cancer

Hi, I am sorry this raised that nasty Cancerhead; as your doctor said, even she would have been concerned, so it was very prudent that you acted promptly and had things checked out.
My gyn/onc following protocol here for endometrial cancer, does do cuff smears but emphasizes that the internal exam is very important in detecting anything unusual. My doctors said to report anything unusual - spotting, pelvic pain, etc. Since the spotting you had is possibly due to vaginal dryness, perhaps your doctor can prescribe an estrogen cream to apply vice any HRT.
Pls keep us posted.
Unread 07-22-2009, 11:52 AM
Re: Vaginal bleeding three years after Endo cancer

Thanks Peggiesue. I read your posts often as you had the same cancer as I.
Unfortunately i am unable to use any kind of HRT-even the creams make me feel ill. I do fine with Replens and the doctor actually said I looked in good shape in that area. I am quite happy to do without as long as I know that a little bleeding is not sinister. I was given the all clear from the hospital after three years so they must have been fairly happy I was cured. It brings back a lot of unpleasant memories-all this!

uk lady
Unread 07-22-2009, 11:42 PM
Re: Vaginal bleeding three years after Endo cancer

Hi UK Lady, I too am British but I live in Spain. I thought twice about responding to your post because the last thing I want to do is to increase anybody's anxiety but if I found fresh blood three years after cancer treatment then I would want to know what caused it. It sounds as though you saw your GP very soon after it occurred and if she is sure that there is no obvious sign of bleeding from the vagina, then surely you need to know where the bleeding came from.

I recently detected fresh blood on toilet tissue and I was instantly sent to have a colonoscopy to rule out cancer in the colon. It turned out that the bleeding was caused by some radiation damage to the colon which bleeds occasionally. Something I have to live with.

The main reason for this post is that I lost faith in the GP system in the UK a long time ago. Doctors have a policy of sending you away with instructions to come back again if you have further trouble rather than getting to the bottom of it at the time. Time and financial constraints are to blame.
Did your GP do a rectal examination? If she thought the bleeding could possible be from your bowel movement has she suggested any further tests? If you are still concerned, make another appointment to discuss your concerns. Bleeding after cancer should be investigated thoroughly.
Unread 07-23-2009, 05:38 AM
Re: Vaginal bleeding three years after Endo cancer

Thanks for your concern. I have a lot of trouble with haemorrhoids which often bleed and yesterday I did have a very violent bowel movement so I am not concerned about bleeding from that area. I talked to my acupuncturist last night who used to be a gyn. Firstly she completely reassurred me that with the stage and grade and type of cancer I had and the time that has passed it could not have come back. Secondly when I described the colour of the blood- a big bright red blob she said that is not how a recurring cancer would present. It would be little bits of a darker colour. Thirdly it would be visible on examination and the doctor said everything looked and felt fine.
She thinks it was probably blood from the back passage and even if it wasn't it could not be sinister. She said it was understandable that I freaked but to stop worrying and get on with my life.
I think I had a case of cancerhead yesterday-which I thought I had dispensed with a year ago but obviously it can still rear up again!
But thanks for your input. I agree with you about the GPs here. One of them at my practice told me about four times she did not think I had endo cancer and it was only because I kept pushing that she referred me to a specialist where I was diagnosed. I have more faith in my acupuncturist because she is a qualified Gyn .

uk lady
Unread 07-23-2009, 07:40 AM
Re: Vaginal bleeding three years after Endo cancer

Hi UK Lady,

I'm in the US, and I get regular paps, along with scans every six months. My cancer was at a higher stage than yours, with a much greater chance of recurrence. But even so, my doctor says that internal exams (which I get every 3 months at this point) are the best way to check for local recurrence. She's very confident in them.

That said, I completely understand your being frightened. I get scared with every ache and twinge.
Unread 07-23-2009, 08:05 AM
Re: Vaginal bleeding three years after Endo cancer

Hi, UK Lady. I am so sorry for what you are going through. I know how distressing it can be. Several years after I had my surgery and treatment (chemo, external, and internal radiation), I experienced something similar. Like yourself, I was using Replens only (and not very consistently). In my case, I think that I had sex perhaps 2 days before, and in the a.m., I passed a "sizable" (to me) blood clot, like you said, bright red. I remember that it was the day before a big 3-day holiday and I darn near had a heart attack. If I didn't get to a doctor right away, I would have to wait the entire weekend!

So, I called both my gyn oncologist and my gynecologist. My gynecologist saw me that afternoon and did a physical. I got the same response you did: The vaginal tissues were so thin and fragile from the hysterectomy and the radiation and no HRT, but she did not see anything that looked suspicious. She thought that perhaps the relations were the cause. She did do a pap smear, I recall.

In any event, I, too, cannot have the HRT because I also had ovarian cancer. I did talk to my other doctors after this episode, though, and they prescribed (what is called in the States) vagifem. It is a very, very low dose estrogen that comes in pill form. The pill is inserted into the vagina, dissolves, and works more as a "topical" treatment rather than as other estrogen therapies do which are taken internally and have much higher doses. The amount of estrogen that is actually absorbed into the system is really minimal. (There is a very slight increase in the risk of breast cancer, but I am willing to take that risk.)

I have found it to be quite helpful and have not had another bleeding episode since. But, boy, do I remember the fear when I saw that blood. My whole life really flashed in front of me and scared me so much.

Consider this a cyber hand-hold coming your way. Hope all goes well for you.

Unread 07-23-2009, 10:29 AM
Re: Vaginal bleeding three years after Endo cancer

Oh thank you so much for your kind post! Yes the doctor did say my skin is so fragile and thin it would bleed easily!
I have worked out what caused it now thank goodness! I had been constipated following my holiday-just returned at the weekend. I find sometimes -to be blunt-the faeces protrudes right into the vaginal wall and I have trouble getting the Replens applicator right in.I remember now sort of forcing it the other day and I am sure I scraped the tissues. The next morning I had the blood. Believe it or not, I found I couldn't get it in properly again today as I seem to be still constipated.It was really hurting. It was then I realised what was happening. I started spotting again and I am very sore inside so that is what it is!
Unfortunately I am allergic to vagifem and the other bios. I do have some Premarin cream which I can use just sparingly on the outside normally. However I am going to mix a little with the Replens and insert it . I expect I will feel dreadful but I want to try to get used to it.
It is a horrible moment when you find the blood, isn't it? However, now that I have been reassurred by two doctors I feel I have dealt with another dread. If it were to happen again I wouldn't think "the cancer is back"so it is another watershed.
I hope you continue to be well-it is great to be able to discuss these things with others who have been through similar expariences isn't it?

best wishes

uk lady

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