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Cancer: Cervical & Ovarian Message Board

Cancer: Cervical & Ovarian Board Index

Hello clctc,

I have been watching a simple fluid filled cyst for over a year and a half now. They found it in September of 2007. Except for painful ovulation pains (which may or may not be related to the cyst), I had no other symptoms and my periods are normal. At first my ultrasounds kept showing that the cyst has either grown very slightly or not at all so I decided not to have it removed. Like your doctor, my gynecologist also told me that it was benign. I had a CA-125 test (for OvC) and it showed a normal reading.

Upon my last ultrasound in February of 2009, the cyst had grown just a little again. The radiologist compared this last ultrasound to my very first ultrasound and said that there was a slight growth since the first ultrasound so he recommended I get a surgical opinion. My cyst is still a simple, fluid filled cyst but it is now almost 9 cms at its greatest diameter so it is by no means a small cyst.

My gynecologist has recommended we take it out because if it keeps growing, I may end up having to have a more serious surgery later on (I can still have it out by laparoscopy). Everyone still says that it is benign but it is extremely annoying to say the least and it is shifting my bladder and uterus off to the right. Now that the decision to remove it has been made, I am actually kind of glad that this damned thing will be off my mind. The past one and a half years have not been a picnic. I would get very anxious just before my six month ultrasound because I would not know what they are going to find and everytime I had any kind of pain or anything, I would wonder if it was the cyst acting up or changing. At my age (42) I will have my entire left ovary removed and this will guarantee that no more cysts grow back on that ovary (something that concerned me if I decided to have a cystectomy only .. my gyne did no give me a choice and said that at my age, removal of the ovary is best .. my right ovary will fill in for the both so I will not go into surgical menopause).

The need for surgical removal in your case will depend on the stability of the cyst (ie. whether it is growing or changing in any way) and on your ability to tolerate the situation and not let it bother you. I think that if my cyst was not growing and remained the same, I would have left it alone, especially if it was small (ie. less than 5 cms). My situation was a bit more annoying because my cyst was in that grey zone of between 5 and 10 cms (under 5 cms they leave it alone and at 10 cms they remove it).

You may have to keep an eye on it with an ultrasound from time to time but if it is 5 cms or smaller, simple, thin walled, on one ovary and stable then I sincerely doubt that anyone would recommend removal. Again, your state of mind is also extremely important on this issue and if you are not the type of person who can stand to know that it is there, then removal may be the best option.

Everyone has some sort of anatomical abnormality. As long as it is not harmful then it is best to leave well enough alone and live your life. Although my cyst is responsible for my having to have surgery next month, it was also responsible for knocking some sense into me and I have lost 55 lbs and only drink alcohol occasionally now (before I used to have a good couple of drinks a day). I have a healthy diet, I exercise, I look fabulous and best of all I feel fabulous. It took this incident to get the ball rolling for me so sometimes these things can actually have a positive effect on our lives.

If you are not sure, get a couple of opinions from other doctors for reassurance (this is what I did at the beginning).

Hope this helps and best of luck.


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