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How fast does uterine cancer grow?

sabina57's picture
sabina57
Posts: 32
Joined: Oct 2011

I have a doctor appt Thursday; however he is out of our health insurance network and so I'll be responsible for 35% of his bill. The hospital is in the network. My husband wants me to go to another doctor who is in our network so we are covered in full. Both are good doctors. One is at Mt. Sinai hospital here in NYC and the other at Sloan Kettering in NYC. My question is, can this wait until next week if I can't get in this week to see the second doctor? I feel as if each day that goes by and I do nothing I'm losing time and it's making me feel stressed with worry. Both doctors are GYN/Oncologist and both specialize in this type of cancer. I just want this behind me.

thank you.
Sabina

CindyGSD's picture
CindyGSD
Posts: 191
Joined: Aug 2011

Unfortunately "waiting" will happen a lot during the course of your treatment. Waiting for your blood counts to come up, waiting for your next doctors appointment, waiting for results or in my case, waiting to start chemo a ridiculous five weeks after I get my radiation (okay that's another story), so don't let it stress you.

Depending on your financial situation, money issues can be a major source of stress and one you don't want and 35% will be a huge financial burden. Cancer is expensive to treat.

If it were me, I would wait. You didn't mention where you are in this journey but one week shouldn't make any difference. I think you'll find many women on this board that have waited several weeks from time of diagnosis to treatment for one reason or another.

Take care,
Cindy

sabina57's picture
sabina57
Posts: 32
Joined: Oct 2011

Thank you. I was diagnosed on 10/11th after a biopsy confirmed "adenocarcinoma of endometrium grade I"; the vaginal ultrasound showed slight thickening of the uterus. The waiting is driving me crazy but you're right, there's alot of waiting involved. I'm early on the journey; a journey that none of us want to be on. I certainly don't want to add financial stress ontop already existing stress from cancer. I'm just anxious in more ways than one.

Prayers
Sabina

Kaleena's picture
Kaleena
Posts: 1062
Joined: Nov 2009

Hi Sabrina:

I had endometrial adenocarcinoma Grade 2 Stage iiia. In July of 2009, it was believed I had a recurrence. I had a positive biopsy. Due to the fact that I didn't feel right with my doctor, I got a second and third opinion. Finally, I went in for surgery. It was February 2010. I was definitely nervous given how long the time frame was. However, it is slow growing, and when I had my surgery, they removed a mass (which was non-cancerous) and everything else was clear. They did, however, just find one of the removed lymph nodes to have microscopic cells. Nothing else.

Even at my first diagnosis in September of 2005, I didn't actually start chemo until November of 2005. So there is waiting involved, but it is nerve wracking!

My best to you,

Kathy

zarkapopovic
Posts: 30
Joined: Jan 2011

Dear Sabina,

Most cancers are not that fast growing. Try and get full coverage. You wlll be soon shocked at the cost of cancer care. You will need the extra money for treats like acupuncture and massage and a day away. Both hospitals are very good so I can't imagine that either doctor will make too big a difference. However, I do say that the right fit with a doctor is important. So wait to meet the other one and then decide.

Good luck!

Z.

sabina57's picture
sabina57
Posts: 32
Joined: Oct 2011

Thanks Z,

I went to the doctor yesterday and he agreed to accept my Blue Cross coverage in full; he couldn't have been nicer. I am waiting for a date for surgery for laproscopic total hysterectomy. He didn't mention anything about getting a catscan of any sort prior to surgery. I've read on the boards here that some woman have had CT scans done prior too. I guess I'm wondering why he didn't mention it; unless he will when his office calls me.

I've read so many posts of how the cancer spread; my heart goes out to everyone. I'm terrified.

Sabina

Rewriter's picture
Rewriter
Posts: 494
Joined: Dec 2009

Sabina: where are you being treated, and who is your gyne-oncologist? Mine is Konstantin Zakashansky at Mt. Sinai. I love him.

Good luck to you.

Double Whammy's picture
Double Whammy
Posts: 2275
Joined: Jun 2010

or at least endometroid adenocarcinoma grade 1 doesn't grow that fast, which is what I had. I didn't have my hysterectomy for 2 1/2 months after my dx because I also had breast cancer and that surgery trumped the hysterectomy. If anyone was concerned about it, it wasn't apparent. Of course, I was. I just know we'd wait one day too long and one little cell would get out and plant itself somewhere outside my uterus. The wait was really awful for me. When I got the initial dx from my gynecologist, she said it was "important, but not urgent". When all was done my gyn-onc said the wait didn't make any difference. That's my experience with my cancer, I don't know about the more aggressive types and grades of cancers.

Good luck
Suzanne

sabina57's picture
sabina57
Posts: 32
Joined: Oct 2011

Thanks Suzanne,

I keep thinking the stress of the waiting and what if's is enough in itself! I wish the very best of luck to you.

My doctor said the same thing to me, not urgent; still I wonder.

Best,
Sabina

sabina57's picture
sabina57
Posts: 32
Joined: Oct 2011

Hi,

My Dr. is Chuang. He came highly recommended. I was amazed how big that hospital is...wow.
All the best of luck to you. Not that anyone wants to be on this journey but its nice to know we are not alone!

Best,
Sabina

california_artist
Posts: 850
Joined: Jan 2009

are interprted.

Your pathology report may include information about the rate of cell growth — what proportion of the cancer cells within the tumor are growing and dividing to form new cancer cells. A higher percentage suggests a faster-growing, more aggressive cancer, rather than a slower, “laid back” one. Tests that can measure the rate of growth include:

S-phase fraction: This number tells you what percentage of cells in the sample are in the process of copying their genetic information, or DNA. This S-phase, short for “synthesis phase,” happens just before a cell divides into two new cells. A result of less than 6% is considered low, 6-10% intermediate, and over 10% high.
Ki-67: Ki-67 is a protein in cells that increases as they prepare to divide into new cells. A staining process can measure the percentage of tumor cells that are positive for Ki-67. The more positive cells there are, the more quickly they are dividing and forming new cells. In breast cancer, a result of less than 10% is considered low, 10-20% borderline, and high if over 20%.
Although the S-phase fraction and Ki-67 level may provide you and your doctor with useful information, these tests are not always reliable. Experts don’t yet agree on how to use the results when making treatment decisions. Therefore, doctors don’t order these tests routinely, so they may not appear in your pathology report. The other results in your report will be much more important in making informed choices. (If you decide to have an Oncotype DX test to check the likelihood of cancer coming back and whether you could benefit from chemotherapy, Ki-67 will be included in that panel of testing.)

Hope this helps or at least gives you something to talk about with your doctor.

sabina57's picture
sabina57
Posts: 32
Joined: Oct 2011

Thanks for the info!

Best of luck
Sabina

Gracegoi's picture
Gracegoi
Posts: 59
Joined: Aug 2011

Saw your other post . Thought I'd adress this one. I ran into a woman I used to work with two weeks ago. She was diagnoised with uterine cancer and had surgery a year ago September.

She ended up with Stage 1 grade 1 and needed no futher treatment. She had no idea what kind of Uterine cancer she had. She said it took six months till she finally got the surgery. It began with her going to the doctor about complications with a bladder sling. She asked for a pap because she had not had one in seven years. She had no symptoms just wanted one. She's in her seventies. Her pap had adnormal cells . Her sonogram showed a thickened lining . Somewhere in the waiting the doctor was on a three week vacation.

;-/ true story.

I hope you have the same outcome . Fingers and toes crossed for you.

Grace

sabina57's picture
sabina57
Posts: 32
Joined: Oct 2011

Thanks Grace. The doctors reassured me that my grade I cancer is a less agressive cancer and waiting until surgery is no big deal (for them?). I had only been spotting lightly 2 times before I got myself to the doctor; that was the first week of October. Hearing the story about the woman you ran into makes me feel better. The spotting was the only sign I had. This morning it wasn't just spotting, it was outright red blood; each time I see blood I am fearful that it is getting worse. I wish I can just chill a bit and relax until surgery gets here but how does one do that?

Thanks again for your post

Sabina

Liberty123's picture
Liberty123
Posts: 8
Joined: Oct 2011

I've written you before, our stories sound remarkably similar. Same age, same symptoms. I got myself to the doctor the next week also. I'm hoping for you the same outcome I've had.

I had the less aggressive form of cancer and was assured waiting for surgery was ok. After about a month of the light spotting I had a lot more blood and it was like your's, red. That actually lasted from January until my surgery in the middle of April. It was like a continuous period. I had clots also. I sure was tired of it and as you are I was fearful. The surgeon assured me it was ok. As it turned out I was Stage 1, grade 1A and nothing in the lymph nodes that were taken out. I feel really blessed. I didn't know about all the different kinds of uterine cancer until after I had my surgery. If I had known it would have been much worse waiting.

Yesterday on the way to my 6-month checkup I realized it had been two months since I'd been to a doctor and I was finally more relaxed. I could never relax while I was waiting and worrying.

Please let us know how you are doing.

Kathy

sabina57's picture
sabina57
Posts: 32
Joined: Oct 2011

Hi Kathy,

Thank you so very much. I spoke with my doctors office this afternoon; he will be back from vacation next Tuesday; she looked at his schedule and said he is booked the next few weeks but somehow they will squeeze me in before Thanksgiving; I hope so. What a way to spend the holidays but you know what, if all goes well, I'm just thankful to be here. I'm so happy for you that you are doing good; God Bless you and keep you well. I did feel better speaking with his office. The waiting and wondering is difficult but I'm trying to get myself prepared for the battle so to speak; excersing to stay in shape in the hopes it will play a key role in my recovery.

I will keep everyone posted. Lord knows I need the support; as does most of us.

Thanks again Kathy, I so much appreciate it :)

Best,
Sabina

Double Whammy's picture
Double Whammy
Posts: 2275
Joined: Jun 2010

whose preop dx was low grade cancer (or precancer) who got a surprise pathology report of a higher grade, more aggressive, more advanced cancer after hysterectomy, but that is very unusual. The odds are in highly your favor. Hope you get scheduled soon and can look back on this and say "whew". The wait and the worry about the "what ifs" is just so consuming. You also see on this board that recurrences do happen, even with low grade early stage cancer. Remember, women come here for support because they need it. I want to stay connected to be able to say to the newly diagnosed frightened women, "hey, look at me. I'm doing great". And should things take a turn in a different direction, I know there is so much support and love here.

Time will help with your anxiety, but time takes time. I couldn't let go of any of it until well after my treatments for breast cancer were done. Then I worried that I was no longer having treatments. Now, almost a year later I'm really at peace with the whole thing. It's simply a frightening, challenging time in your life - but it does get better. Doesn't mean I don't worry about anything that seems "off", but I look at it with more logic now. I've also had a good outcome and I know that makes a difference.

We're all here for the support you need, Sabina.

Another personal comment:

My life/interests/and passion have changed a lot since dx. I'm now a breast cancer peer navigator and am working with the cancer center on expanding the program to include gynecologic cancers. I volunteer for Komen. I'm involved in a community I didn't even know existed and it's a wonderful community. That includes this online community. I've grown a whole lot during this journey and I want to continue to learn and grow. It's sort of ironic how things can turn out sometimes - sort of like Forrest Gump - "life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get".

Hugs,
Suzanne

sabina57's picture
sabina57
Posts: 32
Joined: Oct 2011

You've been through alot and maintain a positive attitude; I know it is a key element to have when dealing with cancer. I kept myself really busy this weekend and almost forgot that I was waiting for a surgery date; then at times the smallest thing can bring me back to reality. That Forest Gump quote is so true, isn't it? one never knows what they are going to get. I'm a firmer believer that you have to play the hand you were dealt because you never know how it's going to play out; life is full of surprises. My husband goes for his petscan on Tuesday; I pray to God that he gets good news. I still shake my head in disabelief but there is no escaping it. A good friend who is a pyschologist reminded me to stay with what is and what I know, rather than worry about "what if". Your right though; time takes time. I plan to get involved in my community; because this is a fight we are all in together! we need each other.
Thanks so very much for your words of support and encouragement!

All the best, and God Bless You
Sabina

imackie48
Posts: 90
Joined: Nov 2011

Hi Suzanne, I am newly dx'd Uterine Ca. had Hysterectoy 3 wks ago and got my pathology. Stage 1a, I have the UPSC kind, but have to say that it was only found in the Uterus I worked for 9 years as a Outreach Educator for a Pap and Mammogram program for the State of Ct, never did I think I would be getting this dx. I am 63, and never had an abn pap never took birth control, HRT, no other gyn issues. but months ago notinced spotting and thought it was from my hypothroidism, finally went to Dr. the rest is history. Now I'm going to try to get a Uterine Support Group starting in my community, when dx I couldn't find anyone to speak with. I see that you want to get involved in your community too. Since retiring from my outreach job, I stopped, but now need to get involved again.
take care
Irene

imackie48
Posts: 90
Joined: Nov 2011

Suzanne, this is exactly what happened to me, my biopsy showed early adenocarcinoma of the endometrium , but my surgical bx showed the UPSC, Stage 1A, grade 2/3, needless to say my GYN dr was surprised. But it does happen. I had surgery one wk after my endo bx, thank God I didn't have to wait any longer. I am also a breast ca survivor type DSIC stage O, 1997, had lumpectomy with radiation.
Thanks for all your info, I enjoy reading your threads you post.

Liberty123's picture
Liberty123
Posts: 8
Joined: Oct 2011

Hi Sabina,

I was just thinking about you the other day and wondering how you were doing. Are you holding up ok? Have you been able to get any answers yet?

Kathy

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