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Need Advice

tnjmom
Posts: 9
Joined: Sep 2006

I am 43 years old. I recently had a transvaginal ultrasound due to a family history of ovarian cancer. (My mother died from OC at the age of 53.) The ultrasound showed a simple cyst on each ovary, which didn't concern my doctor. She was concerned about my thickened, irregular endometrium and possible polyp. She said that it could look like I was getting ready to have a period but I haven't had a period since last November. Because of that, she scheduled a D&C and hysteroscopy for November 2.

Last night I started my period for the first time in 11 months. The flow is fairly light but it definitely feels like a period. I'm having cramps and back pain.

Now I'm wondering if I still need the D&C. Should I call my doctor and cancel? Or maybe we should have a look anyway. Anyone have advice for me?

groundeffect
Posts: 651
Joined: Mar 2003

Be sure to call your gyn and be sure he knows about your period, but I think you should go ahead and have the D&C, and the hysteroscopy for any possible problems they may uncover. If my mother had passed away because of ovarian cancer at an early age (53 is young for ovarian cancer), I'd certainly consider opting for a hysterectomy if I was having the problems you're having now. It always seems like a harsh option, but it may help you live a much longer life, without so much worry.

I'd also recommend, if you have a hysterectomy, you look into having a gynecologic oncologist do the surgery. They usually have much more experience in taking care of anything they may run into.

I had surgery to remove uterine fibroids when I was 42, because I didn't want to go into menopause then. My periods were really normal for the next 6 years, then got really bad again (they had been horrible for most of my life), adding to the host of symptoms I had before my diagnosis of uterine and ovarian cancers. If I had known of the cancers my family had, and their possible relation to ovarian cancer in particular, I may have had the hysterectomy then, but that would be guessing with hindsight. I'll be 53 soon, and might not be looking to as healthy a life as I am if I hadn't had such early diagnoses.

You'd have to accept that it would mean menopause, for sure, but if there's no cancer involved, you can thank your lucky stars for that much.

tlva
Posts: 56
Joined: Nov 2005

Please go ahead and have the test! Just the fact that you have irregular cycles is reason enough to be checked out.

If you wait until you're normal again, your insurance may not pay for any test because there is no medical reasoning. I pray that there is nothing to this, but at least you have the opportunity to be sure.

The procedure is not uncomfortable. I had light anesthsia and about 40 minutes in the operating room. Slept it off the rest of the day at home and went power shopping the next day with my 16 year old!

My ultrasound to follow up a bad pap was normal...it was the d&c that revealed the microscopic endometrial cancer. I had completely normal cyles, but did have a great aunt die of ovarian cancer the year before. You probably have some angels watching out for you, too!

There's my two cents worth!!! Love and prayers to you!

tnjmom
Posts: 9
Joined: Sep 2006

I called my doctor's office and told them that I had a period and asked if the D&C was still necessary. The nurse seemed confused by my question and told me they were looking at something on my cervix as well. The nurse practitioner had not told me this when going over the results of my ultrasound.

I get very frustrated by my doctor's staff but do like my doctor. I will see her on October 31 and try to get some answers about what they are looking at in this procedure and what they think they might find. The procedure will go on as planned on November 2nd. I'll just be glad to put this behind me. I have decided that if anything unusual shows up, I will have the hysterectomy.

Thanks for the replies!

tlva
Posts: 56
Joined: Nov 2005

Still thinking about you and hoping all goes well for you in the next few days! You know where to find us...hang in there!

tnjmom
Posts: 9
Joined: Sep 2006

Thanks for the support. I had my pre-op appointment yesterday. I have an endometrial polyp that is about 1cm and my endometrium measured 12mm on the ultrasound. My procedure is tomorrow but I probably won't have any real news until November 10, when I have my follow up appointment and get the pathology results. I'm thinking positively for now.

tnjmom
Posts: 9
Joined: Sep 2006

My hysteroscopy and D&C was yesterday and it all went well. My doctor found 2 polyps, as opposed to the 1 that showed on US. She said they both appeared to be benign. She didn't comment on how my endometrium looked and I was too sleepy to ask but she did the D&C and I'll have the pathology results at my follow up appointment on the 10th.

Question for any of you with polyps - are these likely to recur? I ask because I had a cervical polyp removed 3 years ago. Also, what have you learned about the relationship between endometrial polyps and risk of endometrial cancer? The things I've read have been contradictory.

At my pre-op appointment, my doctor and I discussed genetic testing. I have not wanted to do this in the past because I wasn't sure I wanted to know my risk when it wouldn't really change what I was doing. Now that I appear to be menopausal, I think it's time to know and act on the information. We'll discuss it further next Friday.

Thanks again for all of your support!

tlva
Posts: 56
Joined: Nov 2005

Glad to hear all is well! My doctor found polyps during my d&c and said they "normally aren't cancer". But my pathology defined that one of the 2 tumors was a "polypoid".
That's probably why the info you are finding is contradictory. My endometrium appeared normal. There were only the 2 cancers and they were noted as "lesions" on my path.
I did go for Genetic Counseling, because my mother and grandfather died of lung cancer, my older sister is a 7 year breast cancer survivor, had an aunt die of ovarian, a cousin of lymphoma, and another cousin die of lung. Don't know why my doctor was concerned????
But you have to meet certain criteria to even be tested and there was not enough of a single cancer to qualify me. If you do qualify and are positive for genes that other family members carry, you can have other preventive measures, like a hysterectomy, or mastectomy in my case because of my sister. I did have a colonoscopy to get that out of the way since they are related to endometrial and I was 47 anyway.
I know it's scary, but knowledge is power! Let us know what happens next week...prayers to you!

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