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Can fibroids turn cancerious

Grunthaner
Posts: 3
Joined: May 2012

Hi Everyone,
I am new today and not sure if this is where I should ask my question so if it isn't please let me know where to ask. I just got back from having my ultrasound which shows a small fibroid I think 9 MM. My history is that my mother died of stage 4 ovarian cancer in 2000 she had a tumor the size of a honeydew melon, she was in her 60's. I had 3 fibroid's removed with a D&C in 2002, that doctor who was my mothers doctor retired before I could get my records. I had not been back to my new doctor in 2 years because of family illnesses and went for a checkup because I had abdominal pain like bloating/having my period but I have been through menopause 4 years ago. The pain was more like discomfort when going to sit down or get up from sitting and I was due for a checkup so I went in. I should hear back from my doctor next week for his opinion from my ultrasound results.

Being it is a small fibroid can it turn into ovarian cancer or other cancers? Should I insist on having it removed or wait and see because it is small? I am pretty sure it is 9 mm not 9 cm but I asked for a CD so I can check when I get back home. My partner is worried because she had cancer in 08 and lost a breast and another lumpectomy last week which was benign thank God and I am trying to keep her calm. I probably should not have told her, but she belongs to cancer support groups and will feel better that I asked this question.
Thank you for your time,
Linda

anicca's picture
anicca
Posts: 324
Joined: Dec 2010

I do not want to alarm you, but you should see a specialist. If you can get a gynecologic oncologist to see you, that would be best. It could easily just be a fibroid, but I saw two gyns who both told me what I had was a fibroid when it was ovarian cancer all along. They were both incompetent idiots. Ultrasound is not a good diagnostic tool for OVCA. Get your CA-125 tested, and get a pelvic and abdominal CT with IV and GI contrast. The fact that your mother had OVCA should be a big red flag that should prompt the tests I suggested. I wasted 4 months before finding the right doctor. Find a doctor that will listen to you!!!

Grunthaner
Posts: 3
Joined: May 2012

Thanks Anicca, I remember when my dear mother came to me she looked pregnant and said her local doctor prescribed antibiotics for an infection but I knew what it was because a coworker's mother had ovarian cancer and described the symptoms. By the time I got my mother to a gyn it was stage 4 and they were unable to remove the entire tumor.

I am looking at my ultrasound images right now and it says the fibroid is 4.32 cm which sounds like a golf ball to me. I am sure he will not get the report until after the holiday weekend. I am thinking of bringing the disc to the Doctors office after work to speed things up. I have had a CA-125 test 6 years ago and because it was negative I never got the RX filled for the new one 2 years ago. I suppose I should do it yearly now. My doctor will give me an RX for it if I ask but I thought if it is negative 6 years ago I have nothing to worry about. What exactly does the test indicate?

Can doctors tell if it is a fibroid or a cancerous tumor on an ultrasound? Will the CA-125 indicate abnormal cells which would indicate that it is not a fibroid but a cancerous tumor?

How are you doing with this yourself? Were they able to get it in time?
Thanks Linda

anicca's picture
anicca
Posts: 324
Joined: Dec 2010

Hi Linda,

CA-125 is an OVCA marker, but the test is not, by itself, diagnostic; however, a recent study has shown that over time, 80% of women with a steadily increasing number do have OVCA. CA-125 can be elevated for other reasons, for example, fibroids can raise it to 50. "Normal" is anything under 35. It's good that you had it done 6 years ago, which now provides a baseline number. After an OVCA diagnosis, the CA-125 may be a good indicator of remission or progression, depending on the individual.

Ultrasound cannot determine if a growth is cancerous. It also cannot always distinguish a uterine fibroid from an ovarian growth. The ultrasound tech at the second doctor I saw actually said to him, as she was doing the procedure, "I can't find the right ovary, this big fibroid is blocking it." Well, the "big fibroid" was my cancerous right ovary. A CT with contrast can show exactly which organs are affected, but only a biopsy can determine malignancy for sure.

I've been very lucky. The cancer was caught in stage 1C, and my chances are excellent that I will die of something else. It helps that I was 63 when diagnosed :) I've been NED (No Evidence of Disease) for 2 years now, and that is a very hopeful thing, as 80% of all recurrences happen in the first 2 years.

Do bring the disc to the doctor's office!

If you click on a member's "name" at the left, you can see their profile, and you can make one for yourself, if you wish.

I hope you check back in with good news!

Grunthaner
Posts: 3
Joined: May 2012

Anicca,
Wow thank you so much I will be away for the holidays then 3 day class trip. I already spoke with our principal and said I will be out several days for all the tests such as CA-125, CT with contrast and above all I want to schedule the removal of this so called fibroid. If need be I will tell them to take everything, hysterectomy and go from there. If I have a hysterectomy then I should be in the clear right?

I wish I gave more time to myself for all of this instead of think I need to be at school for the "kids" all the time, although I am working on that too. I am shocked that an ultrasound by itself can not distinguish between a fibroid or a cancerous growth. Glad I am asking questions and trying to be proactive. I imagine there may be a listing somewhere on this site for recommended doctors in my area? My partner lives in Brooklyn NY I may just look for a doctor in that area. Which type of doctor am I looking for an oncologist gynecologist?

Take care of yourself,
Linda

anicca's picture
anicca
Posts: 324
Joined: Dec 2010

I think you should first hear what your doctor has to say after reviewing the ultrasound results. You can prepare a list of questions to ask. I do think this should be pursued and not brushed off as a fibroid. The whole time I had a tumor growing on my ovary, I thought it was a fibroid, because that is what the first Gyn told me. The specter of a cancerous fibroid is actually pretty grim, and it never entered my mind that it could be ovarian cancer. The first I knew of it was the morning of my surgery, when my doctor had my CT results, and told me it was the ovary that I was feeling.

If you doctor does not want to pursue the problem with further tests, given your mother's history, I do think you should see a gynecologic oncologist.

I see Dr. John Curtin at the NYU Cancer Center in Manhattan (I live in Brooklyn). He is absolutely wonderful. I think you may have to put together a package of your medical records so far, and a cover letter explaining your history and symptoms. Call his office and ask if you can email it. If Dr. Curtin agrees to see you, he will decide what you need by way of testing and procedures. The CA-125 is a simple blood draw and is done at NYU. His office called me within a day of receiving my letter and history and scheduled an appointment right away. I had my CT that Friday and surgery scheduled for the following Monday. NYU Cancer Center is an excellent facility, but I do hope you do not need it!

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