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Posts: 1
Joined: Jan 2005

I am 32 yrs old and over the past 4 years I have experienced symptoms that gradually get worse. I have constant bloating, gas, and just recently have been experiencing nausea and heartburn. My menstrual periods are extremely heavy during the first 3 days. Just this morning I passed a clot the size of a softball. Is this normal? I also experience lower backpain constantly. My mother had ovarian cancer when she was 35. Should I be concerned?

Posts: 18
Joined: Mar 2004

Hi, I know exactly how you feel I just turned 30 and I was having problems for a while, cancer never crossed my mind. My doctor seems to think that is the source of my problems. I also have a strong family history of it. I would get checked as soon as possible. I can tell you this, there are brave and wonderful ladies on this site who give good advice and good support. I am very grateful and blessed to have found them. I am not sure if I am ok yet, but I still check the site everyday because someone always asks a question that benefits me. I had several test done and I get my results back today. I pray all is well with you.

Posts: 5
Joined: Jan 2003

Hi, I don't want to frighten you' but Yes' you should be concerned. You are at higher risk for the development of ovarian cancer solely because you had a first degree relative with Ovarian Cancer. Your symptoms could be related to ovarian cancer' I'd highly recommend that you see a Gynecologic Oncologist, better to be safe than sorry. Hopefully they'll rule out Ovarian Cancer. The signs & symptoms of Ovarian Cancer mimic many other illnesses & diseases- though given your history I would MOST Definately see a Gyn/Onc ASAP. Many of your symptoms were mine too.

I was 38 upon diagnosis- I had symptoms for several years prior to my diagnosis- unfortunately I was mis-diagnosed - the doctors thought I was too young for Ovarian Cancer----no one is too young- Ovarian Cancer Does Not discriminate... If only I had known sooner.
PLEASE!!!!!! See an Gyn/Onc asap---early detection saves lives! Insist that the doctors take you seriously' please do not delay!

Wishing you all the best! Keep in touch!
Khrissy Lupinacci @ Soulsink@optonline.net

Posts: 1995
Joined: May 2003

Hello, my name is Monika also (but with a 'K')! Reading a post such as yours stirs up so many emotions for me. I had Stage 1C, and had I not gone into surgery for a uterine fibroid I would not have known I had ovarian cancer for possibly a very long time (I had no symptoms!). I agree with the other concerned ACS members - follow up immediately! Find a gynecologic oncologist in your area (are you by chance in Michigan?). There are so many tests that can be done, most are totally painless. Some you'll want to ask about - CA125, CT scan, PET scan, transvaginal ultrasound, MRI, genetic testing (since your mother had cancer). No one test is conclusive, and a tissue sample is really the final determination. But don't be hasty to be operated on either. There is an element of concern with unnecessary surgeries. It can sometimes propagate and potential situation. Right now I have a questionable area that we are keeping a watch on. I will not rush to surgery.

There is another possibility - you could have endometriosis, which I also had. All the symptoms you mentioned can be endo, but other things also. That can be determined with a laparoscopy. It's done under anesthetic, but is a relatively simple procedure. Whatever you decide, please keep us informed. And in the meantime, I'll be praying for you for strength and peace AND wisdom. Take one moment at a time. Try to get good sleep/rest. Drink lots of water, don't stop exercising if you are doing so already, and try to eat healthy. That may all sound unimportant right now, but it all works together. You need your strength and it also helps to maintain normalcy in your life and keep you focused. We'll be waiting to hear from you.

God Bless you!

Posts: 650
Joined: Mar 2003

Have you had a transvaginal ultrasound to see if you might have uterine fibroids? Most of your symptoms could be related to fibroids. I had surgery to remove fibroids when I was 42. I opted out of a hysterectomy because there was no indication of anything else being wrong, and I didn't want to go into menopause artificially.

I had excessive bleeding, and had really bad pressure in my bowels every afternoon, and was constipated most of the time. One of the fibroids weighed 3.5 lbs. The others were smaller.

Monika suggested endometriosis, and that's a possibility, also. She also suggests transvaginal ultrasound, but I'd take a step further and suggest color doppler ultrasound (transvaginal, of course). The ultrasound I had showed fibroids prior to my cancer surgery, but didn't show either the uterine or ovarian cancers I had. It's my understanding that color doppler is much more effective as a diagnostic tool because it shows cancer as a "hot spot".

You should, of course, be concerned, especially with your mother's history, and if you carry extra weight.

Just in case anyone's interested - fibroids are not typically associated with cancer. The ones I had removed were tested for it, and were clear. I felt 100% better after the surgery, and had normal periods for the first time in my life. Things started going haywire 6 years later, and all things considered, I don't regret my decision for the fibroid surgery. If nothing else, I knew what to expect after my hysterectomy, and was getting out of bed on my own in no time!

Posts: 22
Joined: Mar 2004

Hi Monica,

I definitely would begin checking things out with a gyne-oncologist, given your history. Knowledge is power, and even though the journey is frightening, it's better to know what's going on than to keep guessing.

Keeping you in my prayers,


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