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Making the right decision about ovaries? Making the right decision about ovaries?

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Unread 12-19-2011, 06:00 PM
Making the right decision about ovaries?

Hi ladies, my hysterectomy is scheduled for next Thursday, Dec. 29th. I was diagnosed with cervical cancer after my LEEP a few weeks ago. My Doctor recommends a hysterectomy since the cervical cancer is likely to keep coming back. With that information, I chose to have the hysterectomy. He gave me the option to keep my ovaries, but recommended I have them removed, due to a family history of ovarian cancer. I'm 37 years old, and scared out of my mind. I told him to go ahead and take the ovaries out next week too... but I'm wondering if I've made the right decision? Have any of you been faced with this decision? What if my hormones are never right again and I risk feeling off kilter for the rest of my life? I don't know what to do... Maybe it's all just fear and anxiety. I'd love to hear from some of you though, and get your thoughts. Thank you so much!
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Unread 12-19-2011, 06:15 PM
Re: Making the right decision about ovaries?

Big hugs to you! My surgery is 12/27 and I have also been in angst about the ovary decision. I was so sure about keeping them for my natural hormones but then read more about ovarian cancer and how there are no symptoms and an alarmingly high mortality rate. Then I learned from another HysterSister and also found studies to back it up, that aggressive ovarian cancer has recently been discovered to commonly start in the fallopian tubes. So for sure my tubes are coming out, finally an easy decision in all this! Maybe that will help you a bit.

Age comes into play as well...for example I'm 45 and don't have too much longer before menopause, but if I were in my 20's or 30's I might feel more strongly about preserving them. I have a lot of respect for Suzanne Somers and the info she has uncovered and shared about bio-identical hormone replacement so if I did need it, I would absolutely use the bio-identical HRT pellets. At 37, you could potentially have several decades before menopause.

The bottom line for me in your case would be the cancer. It is a horrible, unfair decision to be stuck with, and I am so sorry. Only you can make the right choice for you, but if it were me, I think I would have my ovaries removed and undergo bio-identical HRT as a less risky option than keeping ovaries and chancing it with a very hard to detect and high mortality rate cancer that has already made a history in your family.

Hugs and prayers. You are not alone.
Unread 12-19-2011, 06:32 PM
Re: Making the right decision about ovaries?

Thank you so much for your advice! I haven't heard about the bio-identical HRT. I will definitely look into it! I'm afraid to keep my ovaries, for fear of developing ovarian cancer like my Aunt and Grandmother did. You made a very valid point about it being one that is difficult to detect. I don't think I want to chance it... it's just all so scary. I have friends that have had hysterectomies, but they still have their ovaries, so they're not sure what to advise. These things are just difficult to think about. I feel better knowing there's a great HRT I can check on. Thank you so very much! I wish you the very best with your surgery next week too! We'll have to keep in touch during recovery, and compare notes. Sending hugs and prayers your way too hun! Thank you again!
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Unread 12-19-2011, 06:47 PM
Re: Making the right decision about ovaries?

Yes let's definitely keep in touch on this shared journey! I wanted to mention some books and things that have been really helpful to me, in case you want to check anything out.

Suzanne Somers' book, "Ageless" - wonderful info about bio-identical hormones!

The Essential Guide to Hysterectomy - I have read it cover to cover and will refer to it throughout recovery as well, I'm sure. Great book with more details on what to expect at each step of the process.

Steven Halpern relaxation and subliminal healing CD's. The music is peaceful and wonderful (I put it on my iphone and am bringing it with earbuds to the hospital - will be listening as I await and recover from surgery). And any subliminal healing messages can't hurt, right? lol

One other thing that might help, if you have any Eastern European Jewish lineage, the chances of carrying the gene that most commonly mutates into breast and ovarian cancer is more significant.

Keep learning and researching all you can so you can get as much peace as possible about your decision. I'm right here with you!
Unread 12-19-2011, 07:18 PM
Re: Making the right decision about ovaries?

I wrote down the names of the books, I am going to order them as soon as I finish this message! lol I need all the help and information I can get right now.

I didn't think about relaxation CD's... I have a few, I'll have to sync them to my iPod. That would most definitely help me to calm down. I agree, subliminal healing messages could be essential right now! hehe

I need to do a little more geneology research. That is interesting to hear about the genes. On my fathers side, my family came to the U.S. from Germany in the mid-1850's. We actually have a family history book, put together by a family member... it states a story about my great great grandmother traveling to New York to her "belly washed, due to female problems." I wish I knew more about her, I can only imagine what her "belly washing" was all about. Yikes.

Ovarian cancer runs in both my mother and fathers side of the family. I think eliminating my risk is probably for the best. I will continue to research the bio-identical HRT, so far what I've read sounds really promising! I'm glad you shared that info. with me.
Unread 12-20-2011, 08:54 AM
Re: Making the right decision about ovaries?

Personally I would have the ovaries removed. My aunt died from ovarian cancer almost 20 years after her hysterectomy. She kept her ovaries. I had a routine hysterectomy and they found ovarian cancer. I had no symptoms and it was found really early. If you already have cervical cancer I would get a complete hysterectomy.
I know you are young and you would have some adjustments to make like taking calcium and vitamin D. Plus, look into a form of HRT.
I was in peri menopause before my hyst. I can not take HRT due to my rare OC granulosa cell but the hot flashes have been tolerable.
Take care.
Unread 12-20-2011, 09:17 AM
Re: Making the right decision about ovaries?

It can be a hard decision. I had genetic testing for a different cancer, but they steered me to the F.O.R.C.E. Website, it's for those with ovarian ca gene or family history. I can't post a link but you can Google it, it might be of some help to you. Hormones can be tricky, but constant fear of cancer is wearing, too. As long as your decision gives you peace of mind, it can be the right decision for you.
Unread 12-20-2011, 10:18 AM
Re: Making the right decision about ovaries?

I just wanted to chime in with another bit of information from the post surgery side of things.

I am 49 and kept my ovaries, but had tubes and uterus removed. My ovaries were working really well prior to surgery so my Dr wanted to keep them. I don't have an ovarian cancer risk that I know of, but I am an Ashkenazi Jew so that ups my risk for breast/ovarian cancer, in addition to the fact that much of my family's reproductive history is unknown.

Post surgery my ovaries have stopped and I am on ERT. My menopause symptoms were just awful so the Dr started me on vivelle-dot - which is working very well for me - and the rest of the world who doesn't have to deal with my symptoms! We plan on keeping a very close eye on my ovaries with ultrasound and bloodwork, but that isn't fool proof. My Dr now has said if she knew my ovaries would quit she would have taken them with the hyster.

From my point of view, if I had any cancer risk that I knew of, I would have had my ovaries removed.

I'm sorry you've got such tough decisions. Talk it out with yourself, your family, and your Doctor. I wish you peace, a smooth surgery, and speedy healing!
Unread 12-20-2011, 10:42 AM
Re: Making the right decision about ovaries?

I decided to keep my ovaries, because I am only 41 years old and I wanted to keep my hormones so I would not have to take HRT.
Unread 12-20-2011, 11:47 AM
Making the right decision about ovaries?

I kept mine. At least one Coz the other One Have to taken out after my 2nd surgery. I had history of ovarian cancer in my mom side. My late grandma died with it but They never Had hysterectomy either. My mom Still Got One like me and she's 76 . She's the One insisted I keep mine if its OK. I'm 43. And I had earlymenopause stage 3 years ago . Dr. Put me on combi patch so I can function. But after 6 months I developed a cyst on my left breast. Which is One of the side effect of those hormone thing. I Don't Have history of breast cancer. I stopped the patch and I had mammogram Last October. Cyst is gone. U got plenty of time to think and there's no turning back either. Either way let's Just hope For the best. Goodluck...
Originally Posted by KJJ48 View Post
I decided to keep my ovaries, because I am only 41 years old and I wanted to keep my hormones so I would not have to take HRT.

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