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Cancer: Cervical & Ovarian Message Board

Cancer: Cervical & Ovarian Board Index

I think that I might be able to help you. I'm 38 and an Ovarian Cancer survivor. I found out that I had Ovarian Cancer at the age of 32.
At the age of 31 I started to have some cramping in my left side and thought that it was irritable bowel or GI related and saw a GI doctor for a colonoscopy, sigmoidoscopy, and also saw a Urologist for a cystoscopy! The tests were all negative but I was still having pain and wanted more answers. I was also having heavy menstrual bleeding, and felt a little bloated. I went to THREE OB-GYN's before having surgery. The first OB-GYN said that he could do a D&C for the heavy bleeding, and didn't recommend that I get a CA-125 blood test. I recently had read an article written by Kathy Ireland whose mother died of ovarian cancer and she said that all women should get that test so I was pushing for it. The doctor said that the test was not accurate. Disgusted with the OB-GYN's attitude and unwillingness to get me that test I saw Doctor #2 who ordered the test for me. It came up as above slightly above normal. Then he sent me for a transvaginal ultrasound. The findings were that I had a mixed solid and cystic mass on my left ovary. He told me that we could wait 6 months and see how things go and see if it shrinks or goes away. I was VERY nervous and sought out a second opinion. I then went to see Doctor #3 who is my mothers OB-GYN and delivered me and my twin when I was 3 months premature at 1 pound 8 ounces. I consider him an expert in his field, and he has saved my life twice (once at birth, and with cancer). He is really old and has seen everything, I think! To make a long story short he set me up for an exploratory laparascopy right away. During the lap procedure while I was still on the operating room table my tumors were sent to pathology for a preliminary diagnosis. It was discovered that I had Endometriosis and stage 1, grade 1 OVARIAN CANCER in my left ovary, my uterus was borderline, and the cancer was spreading to my right ovary. He did washings of my peritoneal cavity and said that he didn't see evidence of that the cancer had spread to other organs. He did a complete hysterectomy with removal of my uterus and both ovaries.
When I woke up from the surgery I was shocked that I had a hysterectomy!!!!!! I remember signing consent forms to allow that but never did I think that it would happen to me!!!!!!! I thought that my life was going to be over after I heard that I was told that I had cancer. I think that the key to surviving this is getting it caught EARLY!! For the next 5 years I saw a GYN-ONC at MD Anderson Cancer Center and was put on Megace which is like a hormone but isn't which treats cancer. I had the choice of going on Chemo but my doctor really didn't think I needed it. Going to MD Anderson for visits was very emotionally upsetting being around other cancer patients and being one myself. What really bothers me is that I don't have any family history of it. I have a twin sister who is worried that she will get it. She goes to the OB-GYN every 6 months for a pap, CA-125, and ultrasound. My younger sister who is 27 just had an abnormal pap and I'm now worried for her.
I think that all women should get the CA-125 blood test and pap smear every 6 months to a year. The test is very important! Your doctor will tell you that it isn't accurate and shouldn't be used as a diagnostic tool in women who haven't already had cancer. Find yourself a doctor who will listen to you, and who will give you the CA-125, and pay for it out of your pocket if insurance won't.
Sorry this was so long. I hope that I helped you and please let me know if you have any questions.

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