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Cancer: Uterine Message Board

Cancer: Uterine Board Index

Does anybody know how accurate endometrial biopsy really are? If there is cancer in the uterus, does it show up in every cell or is it possible that there may be cancer cells, but the cells the doctor happens to get in the biopsy are not cancer cells? I'm having a biopsy done tomorrow and the reason I ask is because my mom had a biopsy done on her spine because the doctor suspected cancer. The biopsy came back fine and he told her she just needed pain management for the pain in her back. I didn't believe it and urged her to go to another doctor. She did and the second biopsy definitely showed cancer and further testing showed stage 4 and all throughout her body and she was gone in less than 90 days (I should note it started as colon cancer, not uterine cancer). I'm also concerned because I had an endo biopsy done two years ago and the report said the sample size was not sufficient to determine if cancer was present or not. I wasn't having any symptoms so I just let it go (I was tested because I take Tamoxifen). Now, I am having symptoms and am still on Tamoxifen so I just want to be sure I can really rely on the results. Has anyone ever heard of false negative results?

Thank you!

Thank you for your kind words. I had a very good talk with my doctor and she said there is about a 3% chance of a false negative and offered me the option of not doing the biopsy and scheduling a D&C instead if it would make me feel more comfortable. I opted to go with the biopsy and take it from there depending on the results. If it comes back negative and I'm still having symptoms we'll do the D&C. When I had the biopsy done before she was very encouraging and said she really doubted we'd find anything. She didn't say any of that this time and just said, "let's see what comes back and go from there." She's normally a very positive and cheerful person, but she wasn't that way today. I'm a very positive person and I'll deal with whatever the results are...I just want to know.
Hi Janet,
I'm happy to tell my story, at the risk of sounding like a complete whiner! It's not a story I tell often, in fact, most of my close friends and family don't even know what I'm going through. I am a very positive person and just won't bring everyone else down with any doesn't change anything anyway! I started taking Tamoxifen a little over 2.5 years ago because of my high risk of breast cancer. My mom survived breast cancer and thought she had survived colon cancer only for it to recur without her realizing it until it was way too late. I researched Tamoxifen and was aware of all of the side effects and risks. It was not an easy decision to make, especially with the risk of uterine cancer, although small, I was concerned about protecting myself from one type of cancer only to end up with another. I decided to do it and deal with whatever may happen. Soon, the side effects started to show up. The pupil in my right eye became dilated and fixed which affected my vision (especially out in the sun). People would look at me and say, "Um...what's wrong with your eyes?" it was that bad. There is now also a cataract in that eye (and I'm only 48!), but it is growing slowly so I'm not really worried about it. Next, the hip and leg pain set in. This has been my biggest issue. I've been tested for arthritis and it's not that so we're all pretty sure it's the Tamoxifen. Sometimes my hips and legs ache clear to the bone and it's a pain I can't really even describe. Just laying in bed is sometimes really painful. I am an elementary teacher and during the school year spend most of my days on my feet. I decided that I was tired of this pain and thought if my legs were stronger maybe it would help so I've started exercising again regularly and I'm not sure if it's helping, but it's not making it worse and I'm getting the other benefits of regular exercise so I'm happy with that. No matter how much I stretch, my muscles are just so tight and painful. For about the past year I've also had problems with my feet. The tendons in my feet are also extremely tight (I spent 8 weeks in a cast last fall to try to get them calmed down in one foot). I am reaching a point of acceptance with all of this and figure when I reach my 5 years on Tamoxifen and stop taking it this will all go away. As miserable as it is it's still better than breast cancer!

In January of this year my periods became very painful which they've never been before. They've been irregular because of the Tamoxifen, but not painful. My last period was in April and it's difficult to know if I'm in menopause (or even per-menopause) because of the Tamoxifen and the way it interferes with estrogen. In May I noticed this light pink, watery discharge. I had never seen anything like this before. It wasn't like a period at all. It lasted about 3 days and stopped. I didn't really think too much about it. Then in late June it happened again only this time with very severe pain. It lasted for 5 days. It was strange because it would only show on the toilet paper, it was not enough to ever show on a pad. This caused me to go to my doctor because everything I've read said this can be a sign of uterine cancer. She scheduled an ultrasound and the biopsy. The ultrasound showed two fibroids (3.2cm in the uterine wall and 2.4cm outside), a 2.9 cm cyst on the right ovary, and a uterine lining of 9.48mm. She said the cyst looked clear (not solid), but because it's bigger than 2cm she wants to watch it. And this brings me to today, when I noticed the pink, watery stuff is back only so far I'm not having any pain. The time between each of these occurrences is shortening and I don't know if that means anything. The last time ended on July 3rd and here it is starting again on July 28th. I asked my doctor if this is just my body's weird way of moving into menopause and she said she didn't think so.

So, there's my story. Sorry it's so lengthy. I should get the biopsy results back in the next few days. I'm very accepting of whatever happens to me; my biggest concern is what it would do to my husband and daughter. And I struggle with guilt over whether or not I made the right decision to take the Tamoxifen and did my decision cause me to end up with cancer. We'll see in a few days.

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