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Starting to feel like a hypochondriac but it needs to be asked

Helen321's picture
Helen321
Posts: 1115
Joined: May 2012

Maybe my lack of knowledge of this disease since I'm very new makes this question make no sense since I would have a metastas (I think that's the right use of the word) situation and maybe signs don't matter but anyway, what are the signs of ovarian cancer? So many things have changed with my body since 35, I have no idea what is "normal" anymore and what could be related to cancer. My brain is starting to fry at this point. I have rectal cancer and recently did a PET scan to put my mind at rest since I was having breast pain and memory problems. Thankfully those came out clear. The only thing that showed up was my rectal cancer and one spot on my left ovary. Rectal surgeon said could be ovulation which we will check out when we do surgery end of month since you can't biopsy an ovary (is that correct?). I was good with that thought didn't give it another thought. Sloan disagreed with diagnosis and is saying chemo/radiation so surgery is on hold several months since I'm going with Sloan. As far as we know there is no cancer in my lymphs. One spot showed up during colonoscopy on lymphs, it was just swelling. Someone sent me an email tonight advising me that it would be wise not to wait and to check out the spot bc she has METS to the ovaries. Smart suggestion. I didn't even think about it. She says I should have a transvaginal sonogram and see if the spot shows up again. That makes sense to me. Of course, I'd actually like to fall asleep tonight instead of continuing research so can someone tell me what the signs would be. I'm 42. I've had very heavy clotting during my period since I was 35, with heavy bleeding and a pain on my left side. Of course, it had to be my left side, couldn't just be my right. I had it written off to aging, hormones and normal body changes. All of the doctors I saw said as long as it is consistent it's fine. The months alternate but when it's the heavy month, it is always heavy, always clotting and always painful. I looked ovarian signs and it just says pain and indigestion. I don't have regular pain in the area, just during my period and I always have indigestion but then I have rectal cancer so I have to clean out my colon a lot and that causes indigestion. Thank you for helping me sleep tonight. Helen

Helen321's picture
Helen321
Posts: 1115
Joined: May 2012

I see on another post there is something called a CA-125. I'm assuming that's the blood test similar to the one we get for rectal. I don't know why my doctor didn't just do that. I'm so tired, I'm just going to cut myself a break and go to sleep. I have to be up at 6:30 to go to work. Unfortunately I'll probably get up before then and just lay ther. I'm just so exhausted. Thanks to anyone who replies, have a great night=)

kikz's picture
kikz
Posts: 1311
Joined: Jun 2010

•Bloating
•Pelvic or abdominal pain
•Difficulty eating or feeling full quickly
•Urinary symptoms (urgency or frequency)

I had bloating, mild indigestion and a feeling of fullness so I couldn't eat much. My symptoms were minor so I didn't see my doctor for a month. I had no pain or urinary symptoms that I can recall. I was eventually staged IIIc.

I hope this helps you. I hope you can sleep.

Karen

Helen321's picture
Helen321
Posts: 1115
Joined: May 2012

I did, thanks but I got up at 4:30. I haven't slept much lately. I guess my logic is illogical. To do the blood test they'd be looking for the ovarian cancer trait and it would still be the rectal trait. I'm constantly complaining that I can't eat. I feel full very quickly or I feel weird right after I eat so I will follow up now even though I only bloat during my period and have no urinary symtoms although sometimes I feel like I have to go after I just went. I figured this is all aging. It's hard to tell what is aging and what is cancer. I'm just going to go to work today and book an appt. with the gyno oncologist instead of guessing. Every time I hear something new I go into a panic.

Ruffy7
Posts: 126
Joined: Sep 2011

I can totally relate - sometimes I think that specialists in one area aren't concerned about developments in other areas. I'm still not happy that my onc didn't seem concerned about an ovarian mass this year after my dx of appendix cancer last year. Left it to the gyn. Had an ultrasound that found it and then laprascopic oophorectomy - turned out benign. I'm 52 and my uterus/ovaries think they are 25 according to my gyn. You are right, they can only do surgery on ovary but my recovering was easy. It maybe nothing but I would push for an ultrasound if I were you. Good luck, ruffy

ktamp
Posts: 81
Joined: Dec 2011

I've had both colon and ovarian cancer. I was diagnosed with the ovarian 18 months after been diagnosed with colon cancer. Symptoms are very similar. Mainly digestive. Feelings of being full, bloating...etc.

It is very unlikely that you have ovarian cancer. Unless you have a genetic component such as lynch syndrome (I have lynch) it is extremely unlikely you will have two different cancers at the same time. It is much more likely to be a met of the rectal cancer to the ovary. That being said, there is no way to tell for sure until you have your surgery. And not to frighten you further but there is no way to properly stage colon/rectal cancer until you have your resection. They cannot say that there is no lymph involvement by CT. There could be microscopic cells in the lymph nodes that do not show up. As far as waiting for surgery, it is standard treatment to do chemo/radiation first, surgery, then more chemo for rectal cancer. My cancer was on the other end of the colon so I had my surgery first. Rectal cancer, while essentially the same as colon is treated a bit differently due to proximity to the rectum. You may end up with a temporary illeostomy.

Please feel free to ask me anything as I have dealt with both cancers you are referencing. But lay off dr google. You will drive yourself nuts. I know it is hard to be so out of control but there is so much info out there and alot of it isn't very reliable. Hang in there.

Helen321's picture
Helen321
Posts: 1115
Joined: May 2012

You are so right, I stopped Web MDing. I addressed the ovary since I switched to Sloan and am being given an appt. for a transvaginal sonogram. I had to point it out to them, they didn't even realize I had the spot. The resident that took my info never translated that very important piece of info to the doctor. I am also going to genetic testing bc I found out recently colon cancer runs in my father's family. My aunt has it and my two cousins have precancerous polyps. My cousin says there are others but she's not at liberty to discuss and it's a need to know only basis. To which I replied, "I see, if I had died, I would have needed to know". My family is very Irish and keeps secrets. That makes me very angry. My father's sister died of breast cancer. My first cousin died of lung cancer (heavy smoker so obviously not hereditary). My sister has skin cancer and my daughter and I both have had precervical. None of this means that it is necessarily hereditary or that I am predisposed. Just best to find out I think. Stop the guessing and get answers.

ccfighter
Posts: 434
Joined: Jan 2012

Why would surgery be on hold. Since the met in the ovary is in close proximity to primary, why not take it all out before chemo? I have to chime in here and say that I have cervical cancer and had three transvaginal sonograms within three months of my diagnosis that did not pick up on my tumor. It is not as accurate as the PET/CT. It showed a complex ovarian cyst, that was gone a month later, but no cervical tumor. When I was finally diagnosed I had MRI which showed a 2-3 cm superficial lesion ans no lymph nodes involved. A week later a PET/CT showed lymph node involvement. A few days later in surgery and the tumor was 5 cm. ovaries can be biopsies but...the ovaries, bleed/leek/spill into the abdominal cavity s o a biopsy on the ovary could potentially spread cancer cells. Perhaps why it has not been recommended. Hope this helps.

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