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Possible ovarian cancer?

lindsey5103
Posts: 1
Joined: Oct 2006

Hi everyone. My name is Lindsey and I'm 21 years old.

I had an unplanned pregnancy at 18 which resulted in miscarriage and that's when the fun began! I was diagnosed with endometriosis and uterine fibroids when I was 19. I've been on tons of hormonal birth control to control my endo symptoms since - and took Lupron for 3 months (it throws you into pseudomenopause in an effort to "starve" the endo). I've had two laparascopies/hysteroscopies as well.

Last January I began experiencing symptoms of having an ovarian cyst - which ruptured before I could get in to my doc. A ruptured cyst was confirmed because of free fluid found in my pelvis and there were other cysts present at that time. I had my second lap (for endo) about 3 weeks later and my doctor opted to leave the cysts as they all appeared functional. At the time I didn't think to ask if she'd done any biopsies but I just picked up my medical records to take to a new doc and apparently, she didn't do any biopsies at the time. She also has not wanted to do an ultrasound since the surgery to monitor them.

Since then I've been experiencing a multitude of strange symptoms and finally decided to bite the bullet and google them - and all of the results were ovarian cancer. I've been blaming them all on the endometriosis for so long but I've had a gut feeling for awhile that something else had to be wrong as well.

I've got an appointment on Wednesday with my mom's gynecologist since my current gyn literally laughed at me last week when I called her and wanted to come in and be checked.

Now I'm looking for advice I guess, or some reassurance.

List of current symptoms:
- Abdominal swelling to the point that a girl in class asked me when my due date was last week. I also just feel generally heavy when I'm swollen. It sort of comes and goes, though I'm swollen more than I am not.
- Frequent urination and tested negative for UTI's 4 times
-Painful intercourse (though that's not new)
- Sharp pains that start in my abdomen and shoot up to my lungs
- I'm exhausted all the time despite how much sleep I've gotten or small amount of physical activity
- My appetite has changed drastically. I'm rarely hungry and when I am I don't eat very much

And I think that pretty much sums everything up. If anyone has any advice I'd appreciate it - especially if this does sound like ovarian cancer.

Sorry this was so long - and thanks in advance!

groundeffect
Posts: 651
Joined: Mar 2003

Hi Lindsey,

I certainly hope this different gynecologist will lend a more sympathetic ear. It was in the news in June, simply because physicians tend to overlook the multiple symptoms and focus on the individual problems. Here's a link to an article from then: http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2004/06/09/heeding_symptoms_can_help_in_ovarian_cancer_fight_study_finds/
You're young, too, so it may be really difficult for you to get your concerns addressed seriously, but I hope you will persist until you find an answer to your trouble.

Good luck with the new doc. It's too bad there are so many vague symptoms for ovarian cancer, and no really reliable test to catch it early, and it's really, really too bad that so many go so long before diagnosis because their doctor won't really listen to them!

mopar
Posts: 1948
Joined: May 2003

Lindsey:
I certainly hope this doctor is more compasionate and thorough. Reading your story brought back many memories, as I was diagnosed with endometriosis at 18 years of age. My situation started at 16 years-old, but I couldn't get a doctor to listen till I was 18, and they finally did a laparoscopy. At that time (1973) they didn't know much about endo, and the 3 doctors I initially saw all said I was 'too young' to have the disease and simply said 'I was overreacting'. Well, at age 45 1/2 I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and I just had a recurrance in February. I'm not trying to scare you, just to inform you that there is somewhat of a link between endometriosis and ovarian cancer. I would rather that you be aware than uniformed.

I was on birth control pills for 2 years straight - didn't help. I also took Danocrin and other hormones (didn't help). I married at age 20 and at 26 had my first child. Actually, the symptoms did subside, which I learned it could after child birth. I had to other lovely daughters, and actually didn't have any problems after that at all. Then the OVCA showed up (only because I was having surgery for a uterine fibroid). But I have done well since, even with the recurrance, and I want to encourage you to follow this through. It may not be cancer - either way, there is treatment for both situations and I hope you don't have to suffer with this much longer. Hopefully, this doctor will be a God-send.

Sorry this was long, too. I could just really relate to your pain.

Hugs and Prayers,
Monika

MichaelaMarie
Posts: 163
Joined: Aug 2005

Hi Lindsey. I agree with Monika and groundeffect. My main symptom was frequent urination, especially at night. Tests showed no urinary tract infection, so I always thought it was my nerves and stress. Oh, and also, my stomach looked huge.....a few people even commented to my horror! But, I just thought it was where I was gaining weight. Anyway, please make sure you get all of the tests done, and if it happens to be ovarian cancer, you will have caught it early, which I didn't. And, Monika, if you read this, I had good news from last week. Did you get my e-mail? Just wondering. Anyway, Lindsey, here's hoping and praying that it isn't cancer. It could be alot of other things that present with the same symptoms. But, please keep us informed and updated because we all do care. MM

perdidojo
Posts: 7
Joined: Sep 2006

Hi Lindsey, and welcome. I sure do hope that the new gyn takes you more seriously then the other. Unfortunately OVCA mimics so many other problems that it isn't even thought of until it's too late. Maybe you could download the sx. of the disease and take it with you to the gyn, I too had many sx. and the Dr.s tx. me for everything but OVCA. It wasn't until I went to the ER because of the pain and the distended belly that something got done. The Dr. in the ER tapped my tummy, and was so angry that any Dr. allowed me to leave his office in that condition that he called my Dr. at 10:30 pm to read him the riot act!!!! And even then they didn't think ovca they thought LIver disease. So you just keep pushing until you get the answers you deserve...remember the Dr. works for you. Good luck...smiles and ((((Hugz))))...Joanne

BonnieR's picture
BonnieR
Posts: 1549
Joined: Jan 2004

Lindsey, I just want to echo what eveyone else said and send you a hug. You know your body and sometimes Drs take a bit to listen. I am glad you are seeing your mom's gyn. BonnieRose

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