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are these symptoms of EC?

lhusband
Posts: 15
Joined: Jul 2007

My wife is 50 years old and has had a range from spotting to very heavy mensus vitually every day for over 1 1/2 years. She had std. and trans vag ultra sound, pap, blood tests done by GP about 1 month ago. He indicated most likely a fibroid. US showed mass in fundus 7.7 X 4.3 CM. Endometrial wall has thickened to 16mm, 2 small simple cysts on ovaries and small amount of free fluid in cul de sac. Other symtoms include painful and frequent urination, pain and bleeding after sex, pelvic pain, gas and bloating after meals, constipation, fatigue, look of being 3 months pregnant (bulge at lower ab), sometimes legs and ankle swell, sometimes pain just below right rib cage. She has had 2 children by C-section (breach birth) and 1 miscarriage. She had to have a D&C after the miscarriage, about 20 years ago due to excessive bleeding. Her pap was normal except for bacterial vaginosis. Estradiol 658, Follicle 2.4, Luetinizing 7.6. She is very resistant to seeing an GYN and it was difficult for me to get her to the GP.
Has anyone had similar experiences and been diagnost with EC or other cancers. Is it likely just a fibroid, or is this just optimistic?

joygal
Posts: 1
Joined: Jul 2007

Yes, it could be EC. It could also just be a fibroid. I went in for a hysterectomy for fibroids, only to find out that I had to have a radical hysterectomy, and that cancer had been found. EC and fibroids share many of the same symptoms. I had just about all the symptoms that your wife has. I also had gone to a GP initially, but when I continued to have problems after the GP told me everything appeared to be normal, I asked for a referral to an OB/GYN. Whether it is a fibroid or something more serious, your wife is suffering with all these symptoms. She needs to be seen by an OB/GYN. Period.

lhusband
Posts: 15
Joined: Jul 2007

Thank you Joygal - this will help me in my efforts to get her in to see a specialist. I hope you are doing well and that it was caught early. Lhushand

kmygil's picture
kmygil
Posts: 829
Joined: Feb 2007

Hi. Your wife DEFINITELY needs to see a GYN. Also, she should get a colonoscopy done ASAP. I had a colonoscopy done at 49 and a cancer was found. I finished treatment in February, and an EC was found last month. So get her in for testing NOW. Good luck. I hope it's nothing, but everything should be checked out. Best of luck and many prayers.
Kirsten

lhusband
Posts: 15
Joined: Jul 2007

kmygil, thank you some much for your response. I had not thought of a colonoscopy but it does make sense. I am sorry to hear of your health problems. It is bad engough to deal with only one form of cancer, let alone 2. I hope you are doing well. You have my thougthts and prayers.

groundeffect
Posts: 651
Joined: Mar 2003

Your wife must see a ob/gyn as soon as possible. If she has fibroids, she is having real problems from them. I had some fibroids removed when I was 42 because they were causing partially blocking my intestines-after the surgery (a myomectomy, leaving my uterus intact), I felt marvelous until I started symptoms much like your wife's when I was 48.

She may be having embolisms because of blood clots (which could cause pain in the rib cage, as I had with them), and blood clots can travel to the brain causing a stroke, or death-so it is imperative that she see someone as soon as possible about that!

I had been seeing my doctor and ob/gyn somewhat frequently the summer before I was dx with cancer, and one thing I didn't talk to them was about my swollen right leg, because it didn't hurt. It annoyed me, but no real pain. Late in the summer I had pain in my lung-which I thought was pleurisy-that started a couple of days before an appointment with my doctor. She did a short examination, and then told me I had to go to the ER immediately. I was in the hosptial being treated for an embolism (resulting from Deep Vein Thrombosis).

I know now that DVT/emboli can be symptoms of lower body cancer. My ob/gyn recognized that and came to the hospital and performed a mini-biopsy while I was there. The biopsy came back positive for uterine cancer. Luckily for me, it was staged 1B, and no further treatment (beyond the hysterectomy) was recommended.

I think it is unrealistic to think that, at this point (and at her age) that this is simply a fibroid. I had multiple fibroids, one of which weighed more than 3.5 lbs., and I didn't have such terrible symptoms. Pap tests don't show anything other than abnormal cervical cells; I had one done that summer, along with a cat scan and various ultrasounds-the only thing that "showed" was the recurring fibroids, and they weren't near the size of my previous ones.

Does her family have any history of colon, prostate, ovarian, or breast cancers? Those are some that are related to the BRCA gene defect, but no woman with intact ovaries should consider herself exempt from the possibility of ovarian cancer. I've heard of pediatric cases.

Please get her in to an ob/gyn, for her children's sake. If, heaven forbid, she has cancer, it's not going to go away on its own, and won't get better. She owes it to herself to try to feel better-she's probably anemic from blood loss.

Look up the symptoms of ovarian cancer on the American Cancer Society's home page. It is the vague multiple symptoms that are what they're encouraging doctors to watch for now.

lhusband
Posts: 15
Joined: Jul 2007

thanks for your comments groundeffect. It sounds as though physicians understate the seriousness of fibroids. It is great to participate in a forum like this were caring people like yourself can help others.

tlva
Posts: 56
Joined: Nov 2005

Hi,
God bless you for doing all of this research for your wife. She must be an angel and you must be a dream!

Please get her to an ob/gyn immediately. You should know, even if your GP doesn't, that it is almost impossible to detect endometrial cancer in the blood. Only high levels on the CA125 might indicate EC, but that test is mainly for ovarian cancer.

I am a 2 year survivor and believe me, if there is a question to ask about testing or followup, I've probably asked it! I've had girlfriends with severe fibroids, but don't believe any of them reported the symptoms your wife is having.

My cancer diagnosis came after my annual pap showed that I was shedding endometrial cells after my period. My doctor, who is the department head and professor at our local medical school, just wouldn't leave it alone. After almost 2 months of tests; an incomplete biopsy, a normal ultrasound, and a D&C which showed only small polyps; my cancer was diagnosed. I was 46 at the time and my doctor was shocked. I'm glad I didn't miss that appointment!

From a woman's standpoint, there is nothing more embarassing than an appointment with the "hiney-cologist" as I say, but she simply must go.

If it is cancer, it is highly treatable and has an overall survival rate of about 85%. It is a very slow growing cancer, and the most common symptom is irregular bleeding after menopause.

Do some more research at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center site and tell her that all of us are pulling for her...but please go to a specialist!

Prayers to you both,
Tammy

lhusband
Posts: 15
Joined: Jul 2007

Tammy - Thank you so much for taking the time to post your comments. She is now in almost constant pain, so maybe it is a blessing and she will listen when I share the need for her to get help. I have learned a great deal in my quest for my wife's health and almost all of it is from angels like you. God bless you.

lhusband
Posts: 15
Joined: Jul 2007

I had not heard of the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center site, but it is probably the best I have seen. Thank you again, Tammy

tlva
Posts: 56
Joined: Nov 2005

Hi again,

I went to M.D. Anderson last summer with a girlfriend who was having reconstructive breast surgery after her mastectomy. The center takes up about 6 or 7 city blocks in downtown Houston and is just an awesome place.

While waiting for her to recover and wondering why I was there instead of home for the 4th of July with my family, I received the best blessing.

I was talking with another lady who was also in the waiting room, and found out that she was a 16 year EC survivor. God had me there for other reasons than being with my girlfriend...I realized how blessed I am.

I'm praying that your wife does not have cancer, but is she does, she can be a miracle...it happens every day.

God bless you!
Tammy

MoeKay
Posts: 63
Joined: Feb 2004

I started experiencing intermittent spotting when I was 51. Because I felt well and had no other symptoms, I waited about 6 months before seeing my gynecologist. When I finally saw my gynecologist, she thought I was just starting menopause, but said she needed to run a few tests and, if all was well, she would start me on a low-dose hormone to resolve the spotting. The transabdominal ultrasound found a mass that was characterized as a "probable fibroid." The gyn did not think I should be developing fibroids at age 51, as fibroids usually get smaller, not larger, as estrogen levels decrease closer to menopause. She believed that if it was a fibroid, I would have had problems in my 30's or 40's. Luckily, my gyn performed an in-office endometrial biopsy which diagnosed my endometrial cancer. My surgery was performed by a highly-experienced gynecologic oncologist, NOT my gynecologist. That too was fortunate, as I needed much more extensive surgery than most women with endometrial cancer because of the location and depth of invasion of the tumor (80% through the myometrium or muscle wall of the uterus).

That was 8 years ago, and I have enjoyed excellent health since completing treatment, which also included both internal and external radiation. Your wife needs the prompt attention of a gynecologist and/or gynecologic oncologist. If it turns out that surgery is required, it should be performed by the latter rather than the former.

Best of luck to you and your wife.

MoeKay

lhusband
Posts: 15
Joined: Jul 2007

Thank you for your response, MoeKay. Congrats on winning the battle and it is great to hear from someone who has put that much time between themselves and the outbreak of cancer. I beleive that if physicians spent more time reading posts like yours on the internet, that more women would survive the disease because they would not write off these symptoms so easily. It sound like you were late stage from the extent of the sugery?
I learn a little more from every one of these replies that I receive. I have suspected that fibroids should be less prevelant in women her age, and you have helped confirm that. I will do more research in that area and hope to hear from others on this topic, as I have had a great response so far. Thank U again.

MoeKay
Posts: 63
Joined: Feb 2004

My tumor ended up being surgically staged as a 1c, grade 2. However, my gyn-onc remains convinced that the pathologist was wrong in concluding that the tumor did not invade the cervical stroma. Therefore, the gyn-onc also clinically staged my tumor as a 2b. In any event, I also had a number of poor prognostic factors that, while not increasing the stage, do significantly increase the risk of recurrence. For example, I had extensive lymphvascular space involvement, deep (outer 1/3) myometrial invasion, and a tumor arising in the lower uterine segment. Also, at the time of surgery, the gyn-onc found several highly suspicious lymph nodes. As a result he removed both the nodes and a block of tissue surrounding them. Fortunately, no tumor cells were found in any of the 30 nodes removed. But as a result of these multiple factors, I ended up with more extensive surgery than many women with a stage 3c tumor who get bumped up to a stage 3c due a lone positive lymph node, but whose tumors are much less invasive and located higher in the uterus.

I hope by now your wife has been able to get an appointment with an experienced gyn-onc who has take control of her situation and has provided some definitive answers for both of you.

Please keep us posted on how things are going.

MoeKay

lhusband
Posts: 15
Joined: Jul 2007

MoeKay thanks again for taking time to share your experience. I am hopeful that you do not see a re-occurance and overall it sounds like it was detected early which is key. It is a very complicated disease given that the doctors do not always agree. I have shared everyone's input with my wife, but she is still on the self cure path with fibroids. She has found one of those nut case sites where they cure your problems with suppliments and enzymes. I have explained to her that even if they work, she is likley trying to cure the wrong problem as she only took the first step of many required to get the correct diagnosis or elimation of the possibility of cancer. I will keep posting results and hope for the best.

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