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Leg and pelvic pain

Sooie
Posts: 5
Joined: May 2004

Hi all, I have been reading your posts about ovca symptoms and it made me sit up and take notice as I have a lot of the same. I have been having lower right abdominal and pelvic pain which also radiates down my right leg, buttock and lower back and also feeling very tired. I do have a history of endometriosis and have had 4 surgeries in 4 years, 2 last year. Most recently was sep 03 when they removed a 5cm cyst they called a 'endometrioma' but as far as I know they did not do a bioposy or anything and said it was just caused from the endo. 8 months down the track and the pain is back. I have seen my gyno and he has recommended a hysterectomy even though I have not had children due to being infertile! I was due to have op yesterday but was cancelled because a woman had to have emergency C section. I am rescheduled for 23 June. Should I ask for bioposy? or will they do that anyway? There is no history of ovca but grandparents had bowel and stomache cancer and my niece had cancerous cells on her cervix. A close friend of my ws dx with ovca last year so I have done a lot of research so I can understand what she is going through but it has also made me a lot more aware of what is happening with my own body too. Any advice would be much appreciated. I wish all of you lovely ladies all the very best. Take care and God Bless :)

groundeffect
Posts: 651
Joined: Mar 2003

Hi Sooie, You don't mention how old you are, but you're probably still of child-bearing age, if you've had that many surgeries before considering a hysterectomy. I opted for surgery for fibroids (which were biopsied) in my early 40's because I didn't want to lose my ovaries and go into menopause that early. I was diagnosed with uterine cancer when I was 48 (NOT related to the fibroids, although I had grown some more by that time), and ovarian cancer during my hysterectomy.

If you haven't had a uterine biopsy yet, you might want to see if you can have a uterine biopsy done before you have your hysterectomy; the one I had was a bit painful, but it did diagnose one of the two (unrelated) cancers I had.

You should ask if a biopsy is planned, to ensure it is done. I'm sure they're planning on doing it. You could ask if one was done on any of the material removed previously.

Fran Drescher (in her book "Cancer, Shmancer") says that she's convinced that leg pain is an overlooked symptom of uterine cancer. I had deep vein thrombosis, which cause leg swelling and an embolism to my lung. Deep vein thrombosis is a recognized symptom of lower body cancers.

Are you aware that colon cancer has been linked to the breast cancer gene (BRCA) that is mentioned in many articles about ovarian cancer? You mention that your grandparents had bowel cancer; could it have been colon cancer?

It sounds as though you're pursuing your problems and are doing some homework; good for you, and keep it up! I heard "it's good that you're so young" so many times during my experience, it really made me realize that ovarian cancer is considered an older woman's disease. It's really not, but sometimes it's a little hard to get around that in a doctor's eyes if they haven't treated a less-than-fifty woman for it.

Best of luck to you. It sounds as though you're a good friend because of your concern for your friend with ovca! I hope you have the best possible results from your surgery.

Sooie
Posts: 5
Joined: May 2004

Hi Groundeffect, thanks so much for your support and advice :) I will be 39 in September. I will definitley ask them to do a biopsy. I could be worrying about nothing but it is always better to be safe than sorry. I have relocated back to my home town since my last op and I have asked my gyno here to get all my information from the other hospital, not sure if he has done so yet? Yes I have read about the link between colon, breast and ovarian cancer and I think that is another reason I have my concerns. My friend with ovca had DVT as well and this was about 2 years before she ws dx. I actually sent her the website about this being an early symptom of ovca and she told her doc who was very intrested in knowing more. I have to say I just really want to get the op over and done with as I am very tired of all the tests and prodding and poking! My gyno I had previously was very hung up on telling me I had IBS, even though I informed him I had already had a colonoscopy/endoscopy and they found no problems! He didn't listen much! So I am at the end of the road and have prepared myself for the hysterectomy and also the possibilty they might find something other than endo. Reading many of the posts on this site and others has given me some very useful advice and made me realise I am not just imagining the pain and other symptoms, they are real and now I am determined to ask for what I want to give me peace of mind. I really do appreciate your kind thoughts and I wish you well. God Bless :)

madismamaw
Posts: 5
Joined: Apr 2004

Hi! Sooie, you came to the right place. I have not been diagnosed with OVCA yet, (my surgery is scheduled for July 8) but I can tell you that my journey has been a long one filled with many symptoms and questions unanswered from a list of doctors that only tried to dismiss my symptoms as IBS, Endo, Colo-rectal, you name it. I have had a total of (8) doctors and too many tests that are all negative for all the conditions I was being checked for. I found this site the latter part of April and I can tell you that from the caring and compasssionate women that responded to my post; I was empowered to stand up for myself and I learned valuable information. I have since searched the web and am better informed about my own body. You should do the same. I read an article in JAMA this month that is about the severely overlooked symptoms of OVCA; I would suggest everyone read this. I wish you well, and you will be in my prayers as all of the brave and caring women on this site are as well. Good Luck and the main thing is ask, ask, ask, until you feel you have answers you are comfortable with.

Sooie
Posts: 5
Joined: May 2004

Hi Madismamaw, thanks so much for your reply :) I am also sick and tired of the medical profession although there are some wonderful doctors out there sometimes I find that they don't listen and even if they do they fob you off by telling you that you're to young to be worrying about cancer and if you had ovca your tummy would be swollen..blah, blah,blah. I was also told I had IBS by my previous gyno even though I told him I had colonoscopy/endoscopy and they found no problems but he was insistent. I also was told I probably had appendicitis and sent me for an U/S and found the growth on my right ovary! Can you tell me more about JAMA? Where do I find it? I will be asking them to do biopsy and also CA 125 test, I don't want to go on worrying anymore. Thanks once again for your support and advice. You will be in my thoughts and prayers as will all of our sisters everywhere. God Bless :)

madismamaw
Posts: 5
Joined: Apr 2004

Sooie, the website for JAMA (Journal of American Medical Association) is: (Jama.ama-assn.org) when the site comes up look for June 9, 2004, Volume 291, No. 22; the heading you look for is: "Frequency of symptoms of Ovarian Cancer in Women presenting to Primary Care Physician Clinics."

Also at: www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ovca is another new research article that references the JAMA journal.

Both are good reading however the JAMA is in more depth.

I have not posted as often lately since I have been having so many more tests, we have had three deaths in our family in the last six weeks so I've been busy. I am getting myself ready for the surgery (finally) now; and I have to take care of my father who just yesterday was diagnosed with a "very large" mass in his colon. His surgery is next week, so I'm sure this is God's way of taking the fear and pressure off of my own health problems. This won't be anything new for me, since my mother was also diagnosed with Stage III colon cancer two years ago.

Please say a special prayer for my Dad and keep us posted.

Have a blessed day!

groundeffect
Posts: 651
Joined: Mar 2003

Hi Madismamaw, I will say a prayer for your Dad, best of luck to both of you! I looked up the Jama article and read it because I was curious about the symptoms it considered. It did consider leg pain, but apparently it wasn't noted enough by survey respondents to make their list. I didn't see if they broke down the respondents to pre- and post-menopausal, and what stage their OVCA was when discovered. I'm glad to see they're doing more and more research, though! I had an ultrasound and CT tests done prior to my surgery-they showed the fibroid tumors that I had, but nothing out of the usual for my ovaries. My CA-125 was not checked until after my surgery, and while it was out of the normal range, it wasn't way out. I know I was fortunate to have had such a low stage (1C) of ovarian when it was found, and would like to help others uncover OVCA (if it's present) at an even lower involvement if possible. A friend asked me a lot of questions after she was found to have masses in her abdomen, and was staged at 3A, which is more common because the symptoms are so vague.

There is a commercial on t.v. right now that advertises a product for IBS that annoys me because it lists symptoms that are practically identical to the lists for OVCA, and time is of the essence if it's to be found in its earliest stages.

Today is the Cancer Survivor's Day celebration in our area, and I'm very glad to be going for my second year.

Keep a stiff upper lip and your fingers crossed. I'll include both you and your dad in a prayer tonight, along with my other friends on the discussion board!

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