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Ovaries or no ovaries...help? :) Ovaries or no ovaries...help? :)

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Unread 05-26-2002, 06:55 AM
Ovaries or no ovaries...help? :)

I'm a bit confused about this one.

As you know, I'm 28, seeing doctor on Tuesday to schedule surgery (weeeeee - an end to pain..at last!). Now the thing is - I do have endometriosis and a bit of adenomyosis too. I'm reading more and more about how keeping my ovaries might enable any microscopic implants to act up and keep causing pain, afterwards. So...do I have them out? Keep 'em?

I'm confused - my family cancer history ***** - my mother is a double mastectomy/cervical cancer survivor, my maternal aunt had breast cancer, and both my maternal grandmother and great aunt died from bladder cancer (whether or not it's all related is beyond me!).

I'm so confused!! What are your thoughts and experiences?

Love, hugs and big warm blankies,

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Unread 05-26-2002, 07:23 AM
Ovaries or no ovaries...help? :)

Hi Tess, and welcome!

I'm sorry you are facing such decisions at your young age...it's a tough one!

I know that someone with experience in genetic cancers will be along soon to offer some help...but I guess you really need to consult some oncologists to discuss the risks and benefits of keeping or losing the ovaries at this point.

I'd ask your doctor to recommend at least one or two specialists, and gather as much specific information including path reports if available on the cancers in your family. The more information you have, the more informed a decision you can make.

I wish you much luck with this, and I'm sending HUGE hugs to you!! Keep reading and posting and let us know what you are thinking about all this.

s to you...

Unread 05-26-2002, 07:50 AM
Ovaries or no ovaries...help? :)

Hi Tess

A big

I carry a gene (BRCA) that makes me very susceptible to both breast and ovarian cancer. I didn't find out about it til I was much older than you - - all my family cancer onsets happened in a pretty fast clump--

A couple things to consider --

Is your history really genetic? There are places that do genetic testing - usually at pretty large medical centers, that can advise you of your risks of genetic cancer, the pocess for genetic testing if it is recomended, and the advantages/disadvantages of a BSO for prevention. Interestingly, while a BSO greatly reduces your risk, it does not eliminate it (nasty remnants of ovarian cells apparently are all over our abdominal cavity and a condition known as Primary Peritonial Cancer while very rare, is a possibility).

I would suggest that you talk to an oncologist before deciding what to do. A strong family history can complicate things like ERT, so it is important to have all the info in front of you before making a decision.

Feel free to pm me if you want more detailed info.

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Unread 05-26-2002, 09:06 AM
Ovaries or no ovaries...help? :)

s Tess

I just wanted to add to Dorrie's great advice. There were studies released just last week about how having one's ovaries removed reduces one's chance of getting breast cancer. Sounds like breast cancer is strongly in your family. Just something else to consider. Best wishes.

Unread 05-26-2002, 09:33 AM
Hi Tess

That is such a tough thing to have to decide. I know because I had to make that same decision. I was having my surgery for endo and adeno. My doc said that he would prefer to leave one ovary but then I still stood the chance of reoccurring endo. It does happen. Also he said that I am too young, 37, for him to make that decision for me. So he left it to be at my discretion. He did tell me though to look into all of the info that I could find before making the decision, one place he was partial to was WedMD. Which was helpful. I really don't have much of a family history of cancer, my family is heart problems. Anyway, at the time of my surgery he came to talk to me and asked why I decided. I said that I wanted them out. Suprisingly he said that he would not even try to agrue with me because he knew that I was well informed and that he had also just come out of surgery with a girl about my age. She had a TAH about two years ago for the same reasons and her ovaries were a mess when he just went in. The one thing that he is doing now though is that I am using ortho tri-cyclen-BC pills, rather than the premarin which was the plan. I did have some active endo that he took care of and he feels that it would provide the best protection for me. And would supress any endo that could possibly be left, because you can never be absolutely positive. You were looking for other peoples experiences so I figured that I would tell you about mine. I wish you well.
Unread 05-26-2002, 11:24 AM
Ovaries or no ovaries...help? :)

I struggled with this decision myself a few years ago since my mother died of ovarian cancer and both my grandmothers had breast cancer...(and maternal grandmother *could* have been the breast/ovarian connection.)

I went ahead and had my ovaries out because...it was a scare to me. But there are more and more testings today....and there are more and more ways to know ahead of time if you are one to be at-risk.

The ladies have given you great info about making this decision. I'm just sending more hugs your way.
Unread 05-26-2002, 01:11 PM

Hi Tess,

I will be 35 in July. My mother is stable right now after having a 1 1/2 year battle with ovarian cancer. My surgery is this Thursday and my gyn is giving me up to the moment I go in for surgery to make the decision. If all is well - I am keeping my ovaries. My gyn wants them out because of my mom but my family physician and my mom's encourage me to keep them. It is a personal decision. I also had Lupron a few years ago and it put me into a brutal menopausal state - severe depression!! and hot flashes. I'm having my uterus removed and looking forward to relief from the killer pain.

My main reasons for wanting to keep my ovaries is that I don't want to use HRT until I absolutely have to - I'm afraid of the depression I had with the Lupron. I live everyday to the fullest and cancer is just an unpredictable thing even if you eat well, have regular check-ups and don't smoke.

Make sure you have some quiet time to reflect on what decision sits well with you.

Wishing you all the best.


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