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post menopausal bleeding

JulieC
Posts: 37
Joined: Feb 2004

I have not had a period for 2 years but last month I suddenly began to bleed, alot & it went on for 4 or 5 days. I of course called my gyn and she said get in to check it out. she did an exam & said my uterus was enlarged...so she did a biopsy. biopy came back a week later reading negative for malignancy & dysplasia...so now what should I do? obviously the doc has left it in my hands as he has not called me back to schedule any other tests....so should I just drop this?? something made me bleed after 2 full years! and why is my uterus enlarged? does anyone have any ideas or suggestions? Cancer is very prevalent in my family! mother,grandmother & 3 aunts w/breast cancer. father w/colon cancer. sister died from brain cancer. mother had cervical & uterin cancer. so you can imagine why I might be concerned. any advise will be greatly appreciated. thanks, Julie

groundeffect
Posts: 651
Joined: Mar 2003

Please see another doctor as soon as possible. Doctors seem to discount a lot of women's problems without pursuing everything that could be causing the trouble. If the biopsy came back negative for those tests, great, but it doesn't address what concerned you to begin with.

Your family may carry a BRCA gene, which indicates a predisposition to breast, colon, ovarian, prostate and more cancers. Try to find a doctor who would share your concerns and pursue the devil out of whatever caused your trouble.

I was dx with uterine cancer and ovarian cancer was uncovered during my hysterectomy, and I'm actually somewhat grateful that I had the uterine cancer uncovered, because my symptoms could have been caused by the uterine fibroids that I knew I had, and time may have been wasted looking around for the source. Time is of the essence with ovarian, as well as uterine cancers. I had uterine 1b and ovarian 1c, and my prognosis is very good.

You didn't mention your age, but it's not important, especially with your family history. I didn't find out until after I had surgery and chemo that when my aunt died she had breast and colon cancer and had a hysterectomy that she hadn't discussed with her family (and they don't know what doctor did it), her daughter had died from colon cancer, and a second cousin of mine has been treated for breast cancer. My grandfather had a colostomy before he died of who knows what, and my grandmother died in 1929 at age 56, and there's no one left to ask about what her symptoms were.

You can always call the American Cancer Society 1-800-ACS-2345 or the Gynecological Cancer Foundation (800) 444-4441. I'm sure they could give you some direction.

Please come back to the board and let us know how and what you're doing - we call care!

JulieC
Posts: 37
Joined: Feb 2004

thanks, I will call & ask to be seen again...what tests should I ask for? ca125? what??? thanks again!

jcarstens's picture
jcarstens
Posts: 1
Joined: Feb 2004

I certainly would have it checked out. Uterine Cancer is more quiet until bleeding. Pelvic Ultrasound and a DC with pathological report would give you more information. Also your blood and Urine tests would help to better diagnose your problem. I was diagnosed with Stage 2/3 Uterine Cancer with a very enlarged uterus.

groundeffect
Posts: 651
Joined: Mar 2003

Here's a bit of information about CA-125 testing, from the Johns Hopkins site, one of my favorite reference areas: http://ovariancancer.jhmi.edu/ca125qa.cfm) that explains why it's not dependable for Ovarian Cancer, but it's about the only game in town, so to speak.

"The CA-125 test only returns a true positive result for about 50% of Stage I ovarian cancer patients. The CA-125 test is not an adequate early detection tool when used alone.

The CA-125 test has an 80% chance of returning true positive results from stage II, III, and IV ovarian cancer patients. The other 20% of ovarian cancer patients do not show any increase in CA-125 concentrations.

However several women's reproductive disorders can cause a false positive result. Endometriosis, benign ovarian cysts, first trimester of pregnancy, and pelvic inflammatory disease all produce higher levels of CA-125.

70% of people with cirrhosis, 60% of people with pancreatic cancer, and 20%-25% of people with other malignancies have elevated levels of CA-125."

I had uterine enlargement and a few other problems, but there are no clear-cut symptoms for ovarian cancer.

The pelvic ultrasound and DC with pathological report are both excellent suggestions. I repeat that I think you should see another doctor - if the one who didn't want to follow up on your situation sees you again, I wouldn't have faith in getting more attention a second time, and you family history really warrants it!

Have you had a colonoscopy yet? If you're over 50, you should!

JulieC
Posts: 37
Joined: Feb 2004

groundeffect, actually my doc did schedule me to see a GI for a colonoscopy because she found blood in my stool at my anual exam. along w/a lump in my breast...which was mamogramed & sonogramed & surgeon said it looked normal & didn't need to biopsy even though gyn had suggested that. anyway...I'm going to insist upon a biopsy of my breast because lump is still there & my mother was upset that the surgeon didn't do one anyway since so many women in my family have had BC. anyway...yes i'm going to have a colonoscopy soon.

Judy1957's picture
Judy1957
Posts: 5
Joined: Feb 2004

I would also suggest that you see a different doctor than the one that you are. A second opinion never hurts and could help you quite a bit. I had fairly constant bleeding for several months and after my ultrasound they thought I had uterine polyps. After the D&C they determined that it was endometrial hyperplasia with atypia, which is considered precancerous. Neither procedure detected the fact that I already had a small cancerous tumor in my uterus and another one on one of my ovaries. Both of those findings were made after my hysterectomy and bi-lateral oopherectomy (both ovaries removed), which was the treatment for the hyperplasia. I do not have a history of cancer in my family -- in fact I don't have any traits of 'normal' endometrial cancer patients. As you do, I would be extra cautious if I were you! Best wishes to you!

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