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to keep or not to keep my ovaries,that is the question to keep or not to keep my ovaries,that is the question

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Unread 09-09-2011, 08:54 AM
to keep or not to keep my ovaries,that is the question

Hello Ladies and friends. I am looking for advice on weather i should have my ovaries removed while having a abdominal hysterectomy.
In 2009 I was dx with her2+++ ER/PR positive breast cancer with no node involvement. i did all the recommended treatments Lumpectomy,chemo,herceptin,radiation,tamoxifen.
i am also BRAC 1 and 2 normal.

The Tamoxifen has caused thickening of the endometrium and after investigation a hysterectomy has been recommended.

I am 37. My onc and surgeon have both said that they don't have an opinion because there are risks both ways. because my breast cancer is er positive having my ovaries removed would provide a 5-10% benefit in preventing cancer from coming back. But the tamoxifen is apparently just as effective in preventing the estrogen from sticking to the breast cancer cells.

I am aware that there are numerous side affects to ovary removal,heart function,bone loss,reduced sexual desire.... come on really. that just totally sucks. not fair to me or my husband .

I guess the choice is between ovary removal giving me a 10% chance of not dying from breast cancer but increasing my risk of possibly dying of heart disease. as well i cant get relief from menopausal symptoms.No hrt.

Or leave them in with the slight risk of recurrence and live my life as normal as i can for as long as i can.

My surgery is in 2 days and i need to decide soon. any thoughts or advice would be great. I want the best chance of survival but the thought of surgical menopause is terrifying.
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Unread 09-09-2011, 09:05 AM
Re: to keep or not to keep my ovaries,that is the question

Many of us have lost our ovaries at a younger age (26 for myself). Obviously the difference is that for you hrt is not an option. I would ask if you can use vaginal estrogen (tablet, cream, or ring) to help just with sexual and urinary issues. It is localized and doesn't usually have systematic effects. If that is an option for you, that might make the decision easier because you'd be able to keep some of that functioning. Other than that I don't have much advice except to say that many of us are living in surgical menopause at a young age and are doing just fine, and that we'll support you through whatever surgery you end up having. Hugs!
Unread 09-09-2011, 09:44 AM
Re: to keep or not to keep my ovaries,that is the question


just a little info that i have just now found out i had my hysterectomy in 08 and i am getting ready to have my overies removed i am 30 now. Anyways what i have just learned is that with most women within a few years of a hysterectomy you end up with surgery again just to remove the overies. Hope this helps with your issue and wishing you a fast recovery.
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Unread 09-23-2011, 11:48 AM
Re: to keep or not to keep my ovaries,that is the question

That's not been the case of me or my mother, who is now deceased (at age 86 with cong. heart failure and kidney failure.)
We both had hysterectomies in our 40s and kept our ovaries and never had to have them removed. I had mine six years ago and I'm 48 now.

I guess if it was me I'd have to think about which decision would give me greater peace of mind. I thought about the ovaries question and asked my cousin, an RN. She said if I did have to have the ovaries taken out it is a much easier surgery now, almost out patient. And I gained the benefits of having my ovaries working for a few more years. I think I'm in menopause or perimenopause now, at least that's what I feel and my doctor thinks so, too.

Have you made your decision?
Unread 09-23-2011, 11:58 AM
Re: to keep or not to keep my ovaries,that is the question

Thanks everyone for your responses. I had my surgery on the 12th and finally decided to keep my ovaries. As my oncologist said in my case there's no right or wrong choice. Ultimately I felt that I'd see how long I could keep them and deal with getting them removed in the future if needed. I'm comfortable with my decision. Its been a crazy journey and I wish all the best to those on their own journeys.
Unread 09-23-2011, 12:08 PM
Re: to keep or not to keep my ovaries,that is the question

:::HUGS:::: and prayers to you, Tapril!

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