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ovarian link to breast cancer

rolland72's picture
rolland72
Posts: 12
Joined: Oct 2006

My mother is a 18 year survivor of breast cancer. She underwent a mastectomy. She has also had 2 bouts with colon cancer but is in remission on both. I was diagnosed with ovarian and uterine cancer in April of 2005. I was told that it was most likely the genetic link with my mother's breast cancer. I have had a total hysterectomy with salpingo oopherectomy and am in remission. My point, however, is that no one should ignore the link with the breast and ovarian cancer. Simply because there is no ovarian cancer in the family only breast cancer to be concious of the fact they are linked. I had yearly exams and when my ovarian cancer was found it was 5"x5" tumor. It did not develop that quickly in a year. While CA125 bloodtest indicates the likelihood of ovarian, no one ever does it until after the fact.

jamilou's picture
jamilou
Posts: 202
Joined: Mar 2005

I have also read and heard that there is a link between ovarian and breast cancer. That is why it would be great if we could get insurance companies to pay for genetic testing in high risk families. You are right the CA125 is not used enough. Most people usually don't have one done until they are "ruling out" ovarian cancer. Before my cancer my doctor was doing a CA125 every 6 months because of my mothers cancer, but I think I was fortunate to have an agressive doctor. I hope you continue to do well and that your Mother continues with her good health. Thank you for a reminder to all of us that we need to be aware of the connection between ovarian and breast cancers.
Jami

mssue's picture
mssue
Posts: 243
Joined: Oct 2003

Hmmmm... Of course I'm a bcs,my Mother died w/Ovarian cancer and one of my Sisters has had cancer 2x cervical and then Ovarian. I did Genetic Testing BRCA1 was negative,BRCA2 was indecisve,they only had 4 people at that time to have the same result and so they were unable to make a diagnoses but if they do figure it out they will be in touch. I really don't have enough people alive in my family to research any further.I asked about the CA 125 during my last visit,I was told that unless You are diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer the test was not efficient because it is used as a mark to track the highs and lows of the tumor.Didn't make alot of sense but they gave me the CA127 tumor marker test which is suppose to be for Breast Cancer.It came back an 11- YEAH!!! I have already had a pap smear and a vaginal ultra sound-they all came back good too.

My only problem right now is that I am having a period. I haven't had one since Feb. 2005,it started 6 days ago,either spotting or light flow but with cramps from hell.I started taking Black Cohosh about 3 weeks ago because I was having hot flashes that wouldn't go away,they almost done me in. I have gotten some relief from the flashes but now this . It shouldn't be the Black Cohosh it is for menopausal symptoms,but if it is I guess i'll have to choose,periodsw/hellashous cramps or hot flashes that turn you into a red devil. LOL What to do - What to do!
Wow sorry so long got carried away,but You're right there is a link between the 2.
Hugs
Sue

mopar
Posts: 1950
Joined: May 2003

Thanks to all of you for the important information. I just got the results of my genetic tests, and both ovarian and breast were negative! I'm so happy, especially since I have three daughters. Nonetheless, I have instilled in them the need to be vigilent in all areas of their health, especially since I've had OVCA twice.

One note on the Black Cohosh: Please research it further. It is my understanding that anyone with breast cancer or risk of it should NOT take Black Cohosh. Also as a note to all of you, beware of hormone replacement therapy. For we OVCA survivors, estrogen is a NO-NO. I have a friend who had OVCA, surgery, chemo, etc., and was fine until her doctor started her on estrogen. Her OVCA came back with a vengence, and she has been on chemo again for over a year. I'll be the first to admit that going through menopause is the pits for a number of reasons. But I will not take any estrogen, not even herbs that enhance estrogen production. Please just be careful everyone.

Love and hugs and prayers to all of you. I'm glad we can all stand strong together and support eachother. I look forward everyday to coming to this site.

Monika

rolland72's picture
rolland72
Posts: 12
Joined: Oct 2006

I too had the genetic testing done--all negative. My nurse practitioner said my uterus was enlarged by feel at my yearly exam. They did an ultrasound then CA125. My CA125 was 443!!! They scheduled surgery right away. My family history is extensive for numerous types of cancer. I too had the hot flashes from hell but had to just suffer due to my history of pulmonary embolism the year before my 2 types of cancer were diagnosed.

groundeffect
Posts: 651
Joined: Mar 2003

Has anyone told you deep vein thrombosis/pulmonary embolisms can be a symptom of ovarian and other lower-body cancers? I found out that the hard way.

mssue's picture
mssue
Posts: 243
Joined: Oct 2003

I've never heard of that,the deep vein thrombosis being a symptom of this.I find that interesting ,I am sorry you found out the hard way,isn't that the way it always seems to happen.

As far as the Black Cohosh is concerned I did research and cross referenced it with other meds I'm taking but you know what,in thinking about it, the way ovarian cancer-along with other cancers run in my family my chances of reoccurance are pretty far up there.I think the biggest thing I was looking at was the fact that my BC hormone receptors were negative, but her2nu positive.So my cancer was not spurred along by hormones but by something else.The hot flashes I was having weren't flashes anymore, more like a ravenous forest fire burning out of control,they would start about 3 in the morning and last until 10 or 11 at night, seeming to get hotter as the days went by. This went on for several weeks,I tried to talk to all of my doctors,reg Doctor,Onocologist,Gynocologist,even told my Orthopedic-EVERYONE shrugged it off as if it were nothing and here I am getting to my breaking point-I had already asked all of them about the Black Cohosh,nobody seemed to care one way or the other or didn't know anything about it -then shrugged it off. It really did give me some releif for awhile, but since having a period I have slacked off and am maybe only taking one a day and actually skipping somedays. Now they are back to 'almost' regular flashes,2 or 3 spells a day.LOL - I can deal with that!!!I can't take the all day ones though,if they come back - I don't know what I'm going to do.
What does everyone else do-please tell me I'm not the only one having them like this(the allday ones),please....

groundeffect
Posts: 651
Joined: Mar 2003

This is getting away from your original issue, but are you taking any blood thinners (such as warfarin, coumadin)? The black cohosh may cause excessive bleeding with an accidental cut, if you are. The reason I said I found it out the hard way is because it's what put me in the hospital prior to my cancer dx-my excellent gynecologist put 2 + 2 together, and did a mini-biopsy of my uterus-you could read the rest of the story on my Personal Web Page. Because your body tries to work on the cancer's lesions by putting out more proteins to try to heal it, thickening your blood and possibly forming clots. Unless you have a family history of it, or had them when you were young, they should be investigated for cause rather than just treated. If I had pointed out my swollen leg to my gyn, she might have gotten to the source much sooner-as it turns out, she had an embolism when she was young, and knew all about them! When you're "young" (under 50), the docs tend to discount ovarian or uterine cancer symptoms, just because they usually affect women older than that.

Hot flashes-what a pesky thing they are. Fortunately, I wasn't handed them with my hysterectomy, but I had a round of them when I was given Lupron to try to shrink fibroids.

Are you taking anything to try to ward off BC?

rolland72's picture
rolland72
Posts: 12
Joined: Oct 2006

No one ever told me about the deep vein thrombosis being a symptom. They blamed my PE on the birth control since they could not find any other cause. I took cumadin for 9 mos. then stopped. When my cancer was diagnosed 2 years later and I needed surgery, they used compression cuffs on my legs and a heparin drip after. Upon release from the hospital I was put on self injections 2x daily of heparin.

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