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Cancer: Cervical & Ovarian Message Board

Cancer: Cervical & Ovarian Board Index

Hi everyone,
I'm wondering if anyone has been symptomatic for ovarian cancer but had a normal transvaginal ultrasound, and then went on to be diagnosed with ovarian cancer later? I'm asking because I have various symptoms that have been persistent for the past week, but an ultrasound 6 weeks ago (for fertility treatments, not for symptoms) didn't show anything abnormal.

In December, I had a period with major abnormal bleeding. Then I had a normal period, then two 17-day cycles in February/early March. (The trans vaginal ultrasound was on day 11 of the first 17-day cycle, so I didn't know the cycle was going to be abnormal.)

On this most recent CD 11, I started spotting again, so I called my PCP. She was out of town, so I couldn't get an appointment until this coming Friday.

Along with the spotting, I started getting abdominal and pelvic pain/cramping, mild lower back ache joined in after a couple days, gas got worse, bloating, and the (very minor) spotting continued for 8 days but didn't develop into a full period. The abdominal pain and most of the pelvic pain went away a few days ago, the gas eased up but is still occuring a bit, and the back ache and bloating are also still there. I'm eating fine, not nauseous or anything.

Most of those are things I normally get during my period, except for the backache and gas. I also had an ovarian cyst a couple years ago (not very big according to my ob/gyn - about 4 cm) that caused a lot of similar symptoms but they resolved on their own after about 3 weeks.

I know when I get stressed, it manifests itself in GI symptoms and periods that are even more irregular than normal, and sometimes spotting. I've definitely been increasingly stressed during the last several months for a variety of reasons (major family illnesses, layoffs/management changes at work, really big project deadline coming up). And sadly, we had to put down one of our dogs unexpectedly 2 days before the spotting started, so maybe that's what caused the spotting to start. I've been stuffing the grief in because the work project is in a critical stage and I have to push through for now.

I also have PCOS, 8 years of primary infertility (6 pregnancies, all ended in 1st tri miscarriage), Hashimoto's thyroiditis (thyroid removed 18 months ago), and I was also diagnosed w/IBS about 5 years ago, although in retrospect after my thyroid dx, it was very possibly my thyroid in overdrive at the time. And I have some symptoms of endometriosis, although oddly even when I pushed about a laparoscopy, neither my ob/gyn nor my reproductive endocrinologist thought it was necessary.

So clearly I know logically there are lots of things that could be causing my symptoms, even hypothyroidism can cause a lot of them. But I'm concerned because I haven't had any children, I'm over 35 (I'll be 37 soon), and while I was on birth control for 8 years (before we knew it wasn't necessary in my case!), I've also had my ovaries poked with a needle more than 100 times during IVF egg retrievals, which I think probably cancels out the protective benefits of the pill and may have caused scar tissue on my ovaries.

I know it can be difficult to detect ovarian cancer early - hence my question. Could the ultrasound have missed something? Or, could something have developed so quickly in the 6 weeks since then to the point that it would be causing symptoms already?

I've already discussed with my PCP that once we finish fertility treatments (our upcoming transfer will probably be our last attempt), I want to be monitored every 6 months with a CA-125 and trans vaginal ultrasound, even if I have to pay for them out of pocket. Fortunately, she is understanding of my concerns and willing to order the test and ultrasound. I'm also thinking of getting my tubes tied because I've read that it reduces the risk of ovarian cancer significantly, and possibly even getting my ovaries and uterus removed when I'm older. (PCOS also puts me at higher risk for endometrial cancer.)

Sorry to be so long-winded. As you can tell, I keep going around and around with this in my mind!


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