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Told no cancer but questions about Postmenopausal women

Pamela A.
Posts: 4
Joined: Jul 2014

I am 60 years old and have been in menopause since I had chemo for breast cancer over 11 years ago.  I recently had spotting and pelvic pressure.  I saw my gynecologist and she did a very painful uterine biopsy in her office and sent me for ultrasounds the following week.  The biopsy came back as insufficient tissue.  The ultrasound reported a heterogenic uterine canal thickened to 1cm so my doctor scheduled me for a D&C 10 days ago.  She said my endometrium was in fact thin and there was scant tissue sent to the pathologist.  That came back negative for malignancy. 

Part of me feels extremely foolish for having had a procedure I didn't need, they said the ultrasound was wrong, but part of me is still worried. I wonder if my worry is my body telling me something is wrong or if I am just paranoid because I had  breast cancer. My mother also had breast cancer, my sister had breast cancer, non-hodgekins lymphoma and finally died from yet a third cancer believed to be caused from the treatment of the other two. (MDS) I am still spotting from the D&C and have no idea if that is normal.  I expected some bleeding for about 3 days after the procedure but thought it would have stopped by now.  Has anyone else gone through this?

I am also concerned that the ultrasound failed to show my left ovary. My right ovary was normal.  I know it is common for ultrasounds to miss an ovary because they "float" but it still concerns me.  Does not seeing it on ultrasound guarantee it's being benign, that it was normal and easily hidden?  I guess after having breast cancer I always feared ovarian cancer.  I am not afraid of uterine cancer as long as it is diagnosed early, but I just read an article by the govenment about uterine cancer in post menopausal women who had been told they had cancer free biopsies and D&C pathology. 

I really want to move on with my life and put this all behind me, but it is so hard to when I get blood stained toilet paper when I use the bathroom.  I would really like to hear from post menopausal women like myself, anyone who had a D&C.  It is so hard to find specific information on the internet.

Thank you!


NoTimeForCancer's picture
Posts: 2939
Joined: Mar 2013

Pamela, you have every right to be concerned based on you and your family history and you should not feel silly about getting tested for the possibility of cancer.  Please do not beat yourself up.

Your breast cancer was 11 years ago so unless you are running to the doctor for every little "funny" feeling, if your body is talking to you, you are right to listen.  Ovarian cancer is such a silent cancer so if something doesn't feel right keep following up. 

Did you post this over on the Ovarian board?  That is one active board and a lot of knowledgeable women who can give you lots of guidance when it gets to the world of ovaries.

BTW, I had a D&C before my diagnosis and I had a brownish, clumpy (sorry!) discharge.  I can't remember how long it lasted, but we are all different and the nurse at the office should be able to help.

I was doing laundry this morning and just thinking how I should throw out all my underwear and splurge on all new panties! 

Pamela A.
Posts: 4
Joined: Jul 2014

I decided to just ignore the bleeding.  I think I just had a moment of weakness and I got scared.  I am sure the doctor is right, a benign condition is causing this.  I and going to focus on other things and try to forget all this ever happened.  I think maybe because I lost a lot of weight (slowly over the past year via diet and exercise) that maybe estrogen released from those fat cells as they shrank might have something to do with it.  I never took any hormonal therapy after my breast cancer because those drugs scare me and my cancer was not one of the aggressive types.

Thank you for your response and kind words, that was greatly appreciated!

It happened to Me's picture
It happened to Me
Posts: 206
Joined: Apr 2014

I am a massage therapist and I work in a Women's Health Clinic.  The two female doctor's have always told me that postmenopausal women shouldn't be bleeding vaginally.  Don't want to alarm you but you need to get to the bottom of the bleeding.   The doctor's have told me that too many think it's no big deal and don't get it checked out and then, that's when statistics go up.  Please don't stop trying to find an answer.   Never feel foolish.  Will pray for you for wisdom and answers.


Double Whammy's picture
Double Whammy
Posts: 2835
Joined: Jun 2010

It must feel like that's where you are right now.  While I am of the mindset to not go looking for trouble, those of us on this board have found it nonetheless.  Of course, you're worried having been through cancer treatments once already.    I'm also a breast cancer survivor, having had both endometrial and breast cancer.  I just had them at the same time.  I was told a lot of the risk factors for having both cancers are the same, and it is not unusual for someone to have both over the course of her lifetime.  I don't know if you should still be bleeding or not, but  it sure wouldn't hurt to make a phone call to the gyn office and report it and be reassured.   I bled after my endometrial biopsy a lot for several days following that procedure, but did not have a D & C.  I don't know what is typical after a D & C at age 60.   I think we've all learned here to listen to our bodies and  it's so much better to feel a little silly than feel  stupid for ignoring something.     In any case,  if in a reasonable amount of time (that might be now)  this doesn't get better and you're not satisfied with the reassurance from your gyn, by alll means seek a second opinoin.  We usually know when something isn't right with us and it's perfectly fine to continue to look for answers.  Best of luck to you. 


sunflash's picture
Posts: 197
Joined: Aug 2011

I echo what the other ladies have said concerning post menopausal vaginal bleeding. That was my only symptom, and although I tried to dismiss it for a couple of weeks, I couldn't ignore it after that. 

I'm so glad I had it checked out, because very often that's the only symptom you may have that cancer is present. 

Please make sure you are checked out by a gynecological oncologist. They're the experts who will know exactly what tests you may need to be checked out accurately. 

BTW, I'm also a two time cancer survivor having had two unrelated primary cancers. Unfortunately, this happens to some of us. I'm sure hoping this is not the case for you, but it makes sense to have it checked out. You are NOT just being paranoid.  

Best wishes to you!

NoTimeForCancer's picture
Posts: 2939
Joined: Mar 2013

Pamela, ANY bleeding after menopause is not right and needs to be investigated - any good gyn would tell you this.  I know it is scary to think about but PLEASE do not ignore this. 

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