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pathology report

GailEllen's picture
Posts: 3
Joined: Jul 2004

I'm newly diagnosed Ovarian Ca type IC with papillary serous cells in tumor and adenocarcinoma in peritoneal washings. Am scheduled for my first chem 8/25, sx debulking complete hyst was 7/27/04. Am thankful for my early dx but confused by two types of cells in path report--serous and adenocarcinoma. will be taking taxol/caboplatin starting 8/25. advice anyone?

Posts: 23
Joined: Feb 2004

Hi GailEllen,
Good for you that your cancer was detected so early! I am type IIIB OVCA, diagnosed last September. After 11 carbo/taxotere sessions, I am now in remission (as of end of May) and undergoing a years worth of a maintenance protocl (Taxotere 1x ea month) to keep me in remission.
I went to the www.nccn.org site (which I recently found and find it loaded with info - sometimes too much!) and this is what it said:

There are several types of ovarian cancer, but this document discusses only epithelial ovarian tumors.

Benign epithelial ovarian tumors: Most epithelial ovarian tumors are benign, do not spread, and usually do not lead to serious illness. There are several types of benign epithelial tumors, including serous adenomas, mucinous adenomas, and Brenner tumors.

Tumors of low malignant potential: When viewed under the microscope, some ovarian epithelial tumors do not clearly appear to be cancerous. These are called tumors of low malignant potential (LMP tumors). They are also known as borderline epithelial ovarian cancer. These differ from typical ovarian cancers in that they do not invade the ovarian stroma (the supporting tissue of the ovary). Likewise, if they spread outside the ovary, for example, into the abdominal cavity, they do not usually invade the tissue lining of the abdomen.

Epithelial ovarian cancers: Cancerous epithelial tumors are called carcinomas. About 85% of ovarian cancers are epithelial ovarian carcinomas. Epithelial ovarian carcinoma cells have several features that can be identified under the microscope. These features are used to classify epithelial ovarian carcinomas into serous, mucinous, endometrioid, and clear cell types. Although these cancers may grow a little differently, they are all treated the same way. Another type, transitional cell cancer, is treated the same as the epithelial cancers.

From all that, it sounds like you had some benign serous cells as well as the adenocarcinoma or cancer cells.
Have they told you how many rounds you'll need to take? Standard is 4-6 (especially with your low number type).
The NCCN site also has lots of info re: treatment from the doctor's end, which I've printed out but not read completely yet. It goes into the various treatments, etc. They also have a great "Decision tree" on the patient side, where you can select what you are personally diagnosed with and it gives you various treatment options and a sidebar with lengthy material on results etc.
Needless to say we all have been where you are today, unfortunately. But you should be fine - just remember to take the time to get well.
This is an excellent site for support from other survivors and they have loads of great advice you don't always get from the clinic.
Sorry this is soooo long!
Take care of you - good luck with your treatments, and let us know how you are doing!
Be well,

Posts: 650
Joined: Mar 2003

Hi GailEllen, and welcome to the site.

You should have a good discussion with your doctor about the different cells mentioned, but Johns Hopkins' website has a drop-down list of diagnosis terms on a page at http://ovariancancer.jhmi.edu/typesca.cfm (we all have our favorite sites for reference). It includes papillary serous and micropapillary serous tumors. OVCA.net has some information on papillary serous cells, also.

Adenocarcinoma cells would be epithelial cells, the most common ovarian cancer cells. Having been dx 1C, I've read a lot about what that means, and it means that the wall of an ovary (or both) was ruptured, possibly allowing cancer cells into the peritoneal fluids. It sounds as though you had two types of cancer cells found - one in the ovarian tumor, and one in the wash, but don't let that frighten you. If you had been stage 1B, you probably wouldn't be having chemo.

You might ask your doctor if the ruptured ovary would have produced the adenocarcinoma cells in the peritoneal washings.

You are lucky for your early dx. Do you know what to take along to chemo? It doesn't hurt to ask what you can bring, how many visitors you can have, etc. My first treatment was in a hospital (in case of a severe allergic reaction), but the other five were at a cancer center, and I learned to take music (with headphones), reading, and my lunch to while away the five or six hours it took for infusions. I had my chemo through the winter, so I took slippers to change into.

So go to it, and get rid the rest of those cells. We're all pulling for you!

BonnieR's picture
Posts: 1549
Joined: Jan 2004

Hi Gail, Sorry to see another womans name on this list. But we are so happy to see your cancer was diagnosed in the early stages. Taxol/Carbo can cause a lot of bone and joint pain and neuropathy. You may want to add vitam B and L-glutamine to your daily regimen to help prevent this or at least lessen it. On the 3-4 following this chemo I found even the smell of food made me sick. So get some protein drinks and straws. Also sometimes plastic silverware can help if you have a lot of metal taste in your mouth.

Now I hope i didn't scare you. This is the worst case senario and I know these tips helped me.

My cancer was serous adenocarcinoma and on the ovarian listserv acor.org, I see other women list this as there cancer also.

Know you are in my thoughts and prayers. We are all here for you.


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