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What Questions Should I Ask? What Questions Should I Ask?

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Unread 01-12-2003, 12:04 PM
What Questions Should I Ask?

I am going to a gyn-oncologist Jan 24th for a 2nd opinion concerning a fairly large fibroid and suspected cyst on the one ovary I have left after having left tube and ovary removed two years ago.

GYN says surgery is whenever I get tired of the symptoms--not urgent for health reasons.

Since my mother died of uterine sarcoma 3 months post op after her hysterectomy I am naturally concerned and want to "make sure".

What are some questions I need to ask of an oncologist?? I want to go in with a list and be as pro-active as possible. Thank you for all the support and answers I am finding here!!
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Unread 01-12-2003, 03:12 PM
What Questions Should I Ask?


Given your mother's history, I applaud you for being so proactive in your own health. It is wonderful that you are seeking the advice of an expert!
If I were you, I would want the gyn onc to tell me what would be the best way to follow the current ovarian cyst as well as the uterine fibroid. Find out how often ultrasounds should be performed, as well as any lab values checked. ie: ca 125
I too was known to have fibroids before my ovarian cancer. When my gyn felt masses in my adbomen that appeared to have grown much larger, he sent me for another ultrasound. It had been about three years since my last US. I wish now I had followed the fibroids growth more closely. Perhaps on a yearly basis. I mention this just so you see how important it is to moniter fibroids. Fibroids don't turn into ovarian cancer, but palpating the adbomen becomes more difficult.
Recto pelvic exams are also good determiners for ovary size.
Please stop back and let us know what the onc advises.

Unread 01-12-2003, 09:28 PM
What Questions Should I Ask?

I'm also glad you are being pro-active with questions!
I am in the position of "if I knew then what I know now" from my experience over the last year. I was having a terrible time with fast growing fibroids and a large cyst on my right ovary. My uncomfortable symptoms (very, very heavy periods, abdominal distention, fibroids pressing on my bladder, etc...) made it fairly easy for me to decide to have a complete TAH/BSO. I wasn't, however, expecting to find out that I had leiomyosarcoma. There is no possible way that I could have been diagnosed prior to surgery, but I now thank God that I did not delay. It could have been a completely different story if I had. I did go through about 6 months of chemo, but have had no evidence of spread or complications. I would encourage you to emphasize your Mom's history and tell your doctor that you are not satisfied to just "watch and wait" (as my primary care physician wanted me to do). Insist on pre-surgical testing, CT's, ultrasound, or whatever are the latest diagnostic tools available. Also, find out just how much experience this gyn/onc has had in dealing with the more rare cancers, such as sarcomas. I was fortunate to get an experienced doctor, but even he had difficulty with the conflicting pathology reports. Sometimes, I feel like we learned a lot together! I am so glad that I was obedient in listening to that "little voice" inside that told me not to wait. I didn't know what was coming, but God did, and He saw me through it. Be positive and assertive, listen well, take notes, and take your time. Knowledge is power and you're on the right track!
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Unread 01-13-2003, 03:22 AM
Thank you!

I appreciate all the advice--I will post outcome of the drs. appt.

Thank you both again!

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