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Cancer: Cervical & Ovarian Message Board

Cancer: Cervical & Ovarian Board Index


First of all I am almost 42 years old, non smoker, who had been on the pill for about 20 years before deciding to discontinue it last September due to bleeding problems (these went away when I stopped the pill).

I have had a seemingly benign ovarian cyst for the past 11 months which does not seem to want to go away. The cyst is 8 cm, on my left ovary, filled only with fluid and thin walled. Had my first ultrasound last September then another in October and another in November (I went for second opinions) .. again in February (followup) and now in August. This last ultrasound was done by a different radiologist from my regular one and he found a very tiny calcification on the wall of the cyst which he said happens with cysts that have been there for a long time. He said it is nothing to worry about and that the cyst is unchanged and stable and not at all dangerous. All of the doctors I have been to see over the past year (my general practitioner, 3 gynecologists and now 2 radiologists) have told me that the cyst is a benign cyst but with this calcification finding I am starting to become very uncomfortable. I am waiting for my gynecologist to call me back regarding the report and I have an appointment with my general practitioner next week.

Stupid me keeps looking on the internet and I see all sorts of listing for psammoma bodies (a type of calcification) being an indication of ovarian cancer. I am trying to keep my cool but it is rather difficult under the circumstances. Does anyone have any experience with this ? Any help would be greatly appreciated.


Hello Hoppy,

Thanks for your support, it is much appreciated. My gynecologist will probably be calling me back as soon as she sees the report. At the moment I am reassured by what the radiologist said. He said it is nothing to be concerned about but I want to be absolutely sure so hopefully my gynecologist and general practitioner will be able to shed some more light on this issue. I think that a laparoscopy is getting closer and closer to my future ..

I am very glad to hear that things are going well with your mom. Thank goodness for that. All the best to you.

Hello VRL,

Thanks for your reply. Fortunately, my cyst is only on one ovary so if I ever did end up having to have the ovary removed, I would still have one left to take over hormonal control (I am not sure how well the left one is currently working anyway). Still, I would like to avoid surgery if at all possible, especially if what I have is benign. Of course the big problem (as you know) is trying to decide if the cyst poses a threat and if leaving it alone is actually more dangerous than having surgery. I am sort of caught in the middle because a simple cyst that is less than 5 cms is thought overwhelmingly to be non threatening (although very rarely they are malignant) and a simple cyst that is 10 cm or more must come out. Complex cysts also need to be removed. In my case, I have a seemingly harmless fluid filled cyst that is between 5 and 10 cms that refuses to go away (so far). In addition, the cyst causes no symptoms so my quality of life is not really affected (aside from my worrying).

My gynecologist left a message on my voice mail yesterday saying that in her opinion the cyst is EXACTLY as it was in February. She emphasized the words exactly and completely (knowing my concern no doubt .. it's as if in the year that I have known her she has come to read my mind) and said that to reassure, she recommends another ultrasound in 6 months (as opposed to a longer time frame as was suggested by the radiologist). I will still contact her to see what she thinks about this tiny calcification and of course I will also discuss this with my GP.

The more I read about these psammoma bodies the more they seem to be microscopic phenomenon that are usually seen not on the ultrasound but on pathology when an ovary or cyst is taken out. It seems to be a particular pattern of feathery calcium that is seen under a microscope. If what was seen in my ultrasound was indeed a small spot of calcification (it seemed to be as it was bright white) then this may very well be due to the age of the cyst. Seems that calcification can also be an immune reaction to inflammation. However, information on all of this is scant and of course there is much misinformation on the internet which ends up scaring the hell out of you. In addition, we all know now that inflammation is related to cancer so this does not help either.

Thank you so much for giving me your own personal experience, it does help. All the best.

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