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How was your cancer diagnosed? How was your cancer diagnosed?

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Unread 01-20-2003, 07:20 AM
How was your cancer diagnosed?

For those of you that have/had cancer (especially endometrial) how was it diagnosed and what were your symptoms? I was disturbed to hear that Fran Dresher had cancer for nearly 2 years before they diagnosed it. I have so many cancer like symptoms and am wondering what makes a doctor decide to test specifically for cancer, you know?
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Unread 01-20-2003, 08:18 AM
How was your cancer diagnosed?


I had cervical cancer with virtually no symptoms. The way they found it was thru a routine pap and progressively more invasive treatments. (basically biopsies) Staying in regular contact with your ob for your annual appointments is key.
If you are concerned I would bring them up with your ob. Also, I think it is ok to get a second opinion. Nothing wrong with that.
It is good to get an outside opinion.

Also - this board has good links at the top of it if you want to research your symptoms.

Best of luck to you.
Unread 01-20-2003, 12:24 PM
How was your cancer diagnosed?

swolf, I had endometrial cancer. I was going through menopause, and had irregular bleeding which is common. In a couple of instances it was very heavy and I had several large clots and it lasted a long time. I went in for a routine pap and told my Dr. of my symptoms. He suggested a biopsy and it came back cancer
I failed to mention, that I had been on estrogen alone for 2 years. This news to the(new gyn) sent up a red flag. I didn't know any better when my previous gyn.put my on estrogen alone. I trusted him. See where it got me! Any way the cancer was just starting and with removing everything, I'm fine now. That was 3 years ago.
Maybe you should express your fears with you gyn. Good Luck, Candy
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Unread 01-20-2003, 12:46 PM
How was your cancer diagnosed?

I am 44 and was dx with endometrial (uterine) ca last July. I am 44 and had been complaining for a couple years to my gyn about painful periods that were long and in between spotting. She said it was perimenopause and that I didn't fit the profile for a person with ca. Finally we did a sono and she thought I had a polyp....did a d and c to remove it and found the ca. Thank God it was a stage 1 and everything is fine.
Unread 01-20-2003, 01:10 PM
How was your cancer diagnosed?

I also had endometrial cancer and had my hyst in Nov. 2001

I was spotting all the time, ALWAYS. I was also going through menopause and went to the gyne with this.
She did a pap and it came back somewhat abnormal (whatever that means ) She suggested we wait and see what the next pap would reveal in 3 months, but than changed her mind and wanted to do a D & C.
We did that and sure enough it was cancer, very early stages thank God.
I would say a D & C would tell you alot.
Also, please see an onocologist/ gyne , these people are experts in all female related cancers.
Unread 01-20-2003, 06:58 PM
How was your cancer diagnosed?

I'm 34 and my endometrial CA was diagnosed via endometrial biopsy and ultrasound. I went to see my gyn for my annual check up and complained of periods that would never end and were growing progressively more painful (this was new for me). She thought it was probably nothing serious but to be safe (I am overweight and have never had children or been pregnant) she sent me for the ultrasound and although it was basically normal with perhaps a slightly thickened endometrium she recommended going through with the biopsy. I wanted to do it for my own peace of mind (and because the pain was getting worse and I wanted to do something about that) and voila, cancer. I had a follow up D&C (with a gyn/onc) to confirm the diagnosis.

For most women an endometrial biopsy is a very safe, low risk procedure that can be performed in your gyn's office. If you have cancer concerns I would recommend discussing one with your gyn. A D&C can always be performed if the results are suspect.
Unread 01-21-2003, 02:24 AM
How was your cancer diagnosed?

I started spotting between periods which were also becoming somewhat erratic. I felt fine--exercising almost daily--and had no other symptoms. Gyn thought I was starting menopause because I was 51. Gyn recommended doing routine testing to rule out anything serious. Ultrasound found a 4 cm. myometrial lesion and report said "probable fibroid." Gyn didn't think at my age I should be developing symptomatic fibroids so performed an office endometrial biopsy which diagnosed cancer. Since pap also showed cancer cells (normally paps do NOT diagnose endometrial cancer) she sent me to a gynecologic oncologist (gyn-onc) for a consult. Ended up that the so-called "fibroid" was the major site of my endometrial cancer and I had a tumor invading 80% of the thickness of my myometrium, which is the muscular wall of the uterus. When he did surgery, the gyn-onc thought the tumor had invaded the cervix and lymph nodes (it had not according to pathology). However, because of the deeply invasive tumor and other risk factors, I needed both external and internal radiation. I think I was extremely fortunate to have found my way to a highly competent gyn-onc and radiation oncologist. This cancer can be extensive without major symptoms.

Unread 01-21-2003, 03:01 AM
How was your cancer diagnosed?

I too had endo cancer. I was 50 when I was diagnosed - and I thought I was having a really easy menopause! Instead of my periods getting heavier and more painful, they were getting lighter and far less troublesome! I did have the very occasional bit of spotting, but my cycle had always been subject to odd things like that happening - and I thought it was probably a return of the uterine hyperplasia (overgrowth of the lining of the womb, for those who don't know!) I had had a D&C for back in 1994. It was only when I had a smear test and bled a lot during the procedure (and, in fact, for 10 days afterwards) that I began to realise that I might really have a problem!

I agree with Legume that you should ask for an endometrial biopsy if you are at all worried - it was what diagnosed my cancer almost exactly one year ago!

Unread 01-21-2003, 09:46 PM
How was your cancer diagnosed?

Because my doctor wasn't concerned about my spotting for over a year I didn't have a D&C/Biopsy after my pelvic ultrasound. My
family doctor said the gynocologist was just looking for a "boat
payment" and said my problem was just menopause. I had had
breast cancer years ago and took Tamoxifen for 5 years. I didn't know that that drug increases a woman's chances of having
endo cancer by 30%. I think my doctor should have known. When I listened to Fran Drescher on a radio show talking about her 8 doctor 2 year ordeal before getting her diagnosis I realized I needed to see another gyn. He did the D7C and biopsy and the biopsy didn't show anything other than pre-cancerous cells. I
waited a few months before having a total abdominal hysterectomy-I'm 57. The biopsy from the surgery showed cancer had gotten 1/2 way through the uterine wall. Now I have to have the lymphs taken out and see if the cancer spread. If they did I'll start radiation treatments. So, my advice is, don't wait-find a doctor that will listen to your concerns and go forward with testing. The D&C was really nothing. I had mine done in the hospital because my uterus is in a funny place and I had to be out for the procedure. Good luck!-jane
Unread 01-24-2003, 12:20 PM
How was your cancer diagnosed?

I agree with Jane, find a doctor who will listen to you!! I was diagnosed at 29 after complaining to my gyn for 3 years of the same symptoms! I finally wised up and got a new gyn because I knew something just wasn't right. The new gyn performed a dnc w/hyst, removed a massive amount of polyps--they turned out to be cancerous. I can't help but question if my first gyn had taken me seriously the possibility of the polyps not being cancerous or just precancerous? I guess I'll never know but I am blessed that my cancer was stage 1 & all is well. Don't fool around, find a good doctor for yourself! Good Luck! 's Paula

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