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Ovary problem now...

Wendy Joy
Posts: 51
Joined: Jan 2012

So I had my first pelvic ultrasound to see how the Tamoxifen is treating my uterus after 5 months on the medication. They found that I have a 6 cm growth on my left ovary, probably a dermoid, and now I have to have to have my left ovary and tube removed. I also will need a D&C. If they find any cancer during the surgery they will do a hysterectomy. As if that is not enough my gyne called today to tell me that my pap smear came back abnormal. I have to have a biopsy of my cervix done before my surgery. I am only 38, but wondering if a total hysterectomy or having both ovaries removed would be a positive things if Tamoxifen is just going to continue to reak havoc on my body for the next 5 years. Anyone have similar experiences and/or advice you can share. Frustrated to deal with this now when I haven't even had my 1 year cancer anniversary.

CypressCynthia's picture
CypressCynthia
Posts: 4010
Joined: Oct 2009

First, I am so sorry that you are dealing with this. It is so stressful, I know. Although I didn't hit that bump in the road, over the years, I have hit many other bumps!

Second, ovarian cysts can be more common on tamoxifen, but you may have had the cysts anyway. So, you can't really say that tamoxifen is wreaking havoc. I was on tamoxifen for seven years because, in 1987 when I was 33, noone knew how long we should take it. It turned my original poor prognosis around (Stage 3 in 1987 was not good). I am still here doing well :-) and never had a serious adverse effect.

Third, this is a conversation that you really need to have with your oncologist. I do not know if your tumor is estrogen receptor positive, but that is something to think about too as it is hard to go through surgical menopause without having estrogen after. Also, I believe when ovaries are removed, physicians still want you to take tamoxifen?? I admit that I am not as up on all of the latest therapies for younger women after 25 years ;-).

Finally, don't forget that your adrenal glands and body fat are also sources of estrogen, so you may have to take some type of hormone therapy regardless of what you decide. Talk with your oncologist and then be as compliant as you can according to his/her recpmmendation so that you will also be here 25 years later.

Some links:
The effect of tamoxifen on the genital tract
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2482152/

Ovarian Shutdown or Removal

http://www.breastcancer.org/treatment/hormonal/ovary_removal

AngieD's picture
AngieD
Posts: 504
Joined: Sep 2011

I have no advice or experience with this, Wendy. I just wanted to say how sorry I am that you are having to deal with this now since it hasn't been a year since finding out you had BC. I remember, because you and I were diagnosed on the same day. Stay strong and get all the information or 2nd opinions you need before making any decisions.
Angie

DianeBC's picture
DianeBC
Posts: 3888
Joined: Jun 2009

I am sorry too and might suggest that if you want, to get a 2nd opinion Wendy.

Hugs, Diane

RozHopkins
Posts: 471
Joined: Dec 2010

Oh dear a lot going on. I have a question for you..... I have been taking Tamoxifen for two years now and had nothing looked at down below except for one pap test and quick feel of ovaries by general doctor. Hating this drug but no one seems to be observing closely to poss side effects like you appear to be having or the worsening of previous probs by taking Tamoxifen. So I do hope you get things sorted out. I also am premenopausal even after two years of no periods. I asked the ladies here about ovary removal and hysterectomy but apparently this is not always the answer as I am Estrogen Positive. Just a never ending circle..........

Wendy Joy
Posts: 51
Joined: Jan 2012

Roz..my understanding is it is standard to have your uterus looked at closely for thickening and also cancer. I had a pelvic ultrasound and that is how my ovary growth was discovered and my uterus lining has thickened. I have only been on Tamoxifen for 5 months. I believe this will be a regular check with me, including regular D&C's.

disneyfan2008
Posts: 5433
Joined: Oct 2010

after just about 4 yrs on tamoxifen I had to have total hysterectomy but MINE was due to ENLARGED UTERUS.

I went about @4 mths for internal ultra sounds followed by D & C each time.

I was off tamoxifen for few months and then put back on when it was all over..

Denise

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