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Cancer: Cervical & Ovarian Message Board

Cancer: Cervical & Ovarian Board Index

Hello Ashya,

You will need to find out what kind of cyst you have. If it is a fluid filled cyst, with thin walls that is located only on one ovary and it is 5 cms or less then this is most likely a normal functional cyst. We women get these cysts every month as a part of our cycle. Simple fluid filled cysts are very rarely dangerous.

If the cyst is not a simple cyst (ie. fluid filled) but a complex cyst with solid components then all will depend upon what the radiologist / gynecologist who did the ultrasound thinks it is. Some complex cysts show reliable patterns on the ultrasound that tell the doc what type of cyst it is. Dermoids, hemorraghic and endometriomas are such examples of cysts. Like most simple cysts, hemorraghic cysts usually go away on their own. Endometriomas and dermoids, as well as non functional simple cysts (ie. fluid filled cysts that are not normal cysts), are usually removed through surgery but most if not all of these types of cysts are also benign.

Some complex cysts may appear sinister and these must be removed in order to ensure that no cancer is present. Often these cysts are irregular in shape, very hard and immovable, sometimes septated and sometimes on more than the one ovary. For the nurse to tell you that if you have a cyst it is not cancer is irresponsible and she should have left it up to the nurse practitioner or your doctor. A complex cyst is most often benign (as I mentioned before, there is a 90% chance of it being benign in a premenopausal woman) but ovarian cancer can also appear this way so they are usually removed and biopsied, just to be on the safe side.

Another issue that is usually seen on the ultrasound is fluid in the abdomen. A lot of fluid in the abdomen can sometimes be a cause for concern. Keep in mind that this fluid can simply be fluid from a ruptured or leaking cyst but it is necessary to verify that it is not a symptom of something else.

If you are able to get a copy of the ultrasound, do so. Otherwise, go back for that followup ultrasound to make sure that all is well. I don't know if you are still experiencing symptoms but if you are they will have to find the cause of your discomfort soon. You may wish to be transferred to a gynecologist at this point (after the abnormal ultrasound). The nurse practitioner should be transferring you and if he or she does not, request it and get an appointment as soon as possible so that you can clear this issue up.

Come back if you have any further questions and don't be afraid to be pushy in order to get to see the right professional. You are your own health advocate and no one cares more about your health but you. This is something I have learned in recent years.

Take good care of yourself.


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