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Cancer: Cervical & Ovarian Message Board

Cancer: Cervical & Ovarian Board Index

Hello Mantra,

I am in the province of Québec and in Montréal there are a number of private radiology clinics who will do the ultrasound, bloodtesting or whatever you need. I do not live in Montréal but outside and even here we have a private radiology clinic. All you need is a referral sheet from your doctor and you can book an appointment for an ultrasound, mammogram or whatever within a week. I preferred going this route rather than waiting months to get an ultrasound on the public healthcare system. The name of the doctor in Montréal that I went to who does a day a week of internal ultrasounds is Dr. Deborah R. Cohen and her clinic is on Côte-des-Neiges in the downtown area. I am not sure if they take out of province patients but you could always try to phone them and find out (sorry but I don't have a number for the clinic).

Another option for you might be to try a gynecologist in Buffalo, New York as this is probably closer and you will have even less of a problem getting an appointment. I am sure that they can give you a fee for an ultrasound and consultation and you can just drive in and have it done. Here in Quebec doctors have a choice of working completely in or completely out of the system and there are more and more doctors who are starting to work outside of the system as more and more people prefer to pay for the convenience (and safety ?) of being able to consult whenever they need to.

You say you had a biopsy in a doctor's office ?! Taking a biopsy of an ovarian cyst is impossible to do in a doctor's office. It requires at least a laparoscopic surgery under general anaesthesia. Perhaps the doctor did an endometrial biopsy which tests the lining of the uterus (or a pap smear which is a biopsy of the cervical surface). This type of biopsy would do nothing about the ovarian cyst and would only look at cells contained in the uterus (or cervix). You are absolutely correct about women living longer if they keep their ovaries until at least age 65 and I think that this was a very wise decision so don't regret it. Ovaries continue to provide the body with small amounts of estrogen and hormones even after menopause. I was not happy to part with one of my ovaries, believe me, and I tried to hang on longer. If my cyst had not started to grow or change, I would also have remained without having it removed. This is not a bad decision but a prudent one.

You may want to continue to go for CA-125 testing in the interval between now and when you see a doctor. If the levels remain the same then this should be reassuring. Perhaps it is different in Ontario but here in Québec technicians do not do pelvic ultrasounds, radiologists do (technicians do perform routine mammograms however). You may want to find someplace that has only radiologists performing the sonogram because an ultrasound of the pelvis and abdomen is not that clearcut and I personally would prefer to have the doctor specialist performing this scan. The doppler may or may not give more information and the jury is still out on whether this is helpful or not (the theory being that the doppler can spot angiogenesis or blood flow to a cancerous tumour). It doesn't hurt though so it would be prudent to have it done.

Don't put too much stock in what that report says. It is "weirdly" worded in my opinion and hopefully the technician did not screw up your ultrasound and cause you unnecessary anxiety. Definitely try to get another ultrasound done, preferably an internal one as this will see the cyst from a different vantage point and you will be closer to it.

By the way, I am very sorry to tell you but you will not know if an ovarian cyst is malignant or benign with 100% certainty until it is taken out completely and biopsied. A radiologist and gynecologist can look at the cyst and tell you what it looks like (ie. offer you strong reassurance) but to be one hundred percent sure you have to go through the laparoscopy. This was my problem all along. If there was a way to know whether the cyst was benign or malignant without having to have surgery, believe me I would have found it.

If you have any questions that I can help with, feel free to come back and ask. During my 2 years of looking at my cyst, I did a heck of a lot of reading on cysts so if I can offer you any helpful information based on what I have read or what I have experienced, I would be happy to provide. There are a number of medical studies available on the internet that can perhaps offer you reassurance. Stick to scholarly articles or web-sites of gynecologists and forget about the rest as these others are inaccurate at best.

I hope your mammogram went well.

Take care and best regards,


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