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Stage 1 Ovarian Cancer Clear Cell

Posts: 4
Joined: Feb 2010

I am trying to research ... In November 09 I had surgery and they removed both ovaries ..the left ovary had Stage 1 Cancer ..clear cell. Nothing in the right ovary or pelvic wash.
they recommended I stage the cancer. So in Dec 09 complete hysterectomy...no cancer was found
anywhere....lymph nodes clean. Said they cancer was removed in the first surgery and
they removed the ovary unbroken...today met with the oncologist and he recommends chemo???
they same chemo that I would be given if I had Stage 3 or 4 cancer. why?? because it
was a clear cell cancer. Said if 100 women had ovarian cancer only 5 would have clear cell.
I don't understand the treatment....if the cancer is gone why chemo?

Posts: 650
Joined: Mar 2003

From my understanding of clear cell cancer, it is rare and hard to treat.

I was originally diagnosed with stage 1c ovarian cancer, which meant an ovary had burst. I had chemo following my hysterectomy, and have just finished my 5th round of chemo (out of 6) after having a small OVCA tumor removed from my abdomen in September. It was well defined, and no other cells were found in the samples they took, but the choice for chemo was made by me, my husband, and my oncologist to give me the best hope of getting any other cells that may be floating around.

Your doctor really wants to see you have the best outcome. I fretted about having chemo the first time, but my gyn told me in one of my visits that doctors really want to "win" and beat cancer at the first opportunity. That woke me up-it isn't because they want to see you have chemo, it's the best option to get that win! My chemos have actually been done in a local facility, not at the hosptials where my oncologists have been, so I have no reason to suspect ulterior motives such as profit-making. The chemo protocol is the same, and it's saved me a two-hour trip for each treatment.

I suggest you do some reading about clear cell OVCA and then seriously consider the chemo. I do believe your oncologist would like to win this time!

Posts: 4
Joined: Feb 2010

thanks for your thoughts and kind words. I've had 2nd opinions about everything and now I want a 2nd opinion
on the first surgery. I want to know how the pathologist determined it was a clear cell cancer. Maybe I'm crazy
but I had two GYN's discuss the first surgery ....to remove the complex cyst, then talked with two surgeons
to hear what they had to say and picked robotic surgery over the large incision to stage the cancer. I'm still in pain
from the 2nd surgery but they said I had two major surgeries in 4 weeks and it takes time to heal.
I then met with a radiologist and yesterday the oncologist. Which takes me to the idea of making sure it really was
clear cell cancer. I need to make my decision and it must be a well informed decision. My problem is I believe the cancer
is gone and I don't understand treating for no cancer. The dr said after chemo I will have a better chance....he also
said we will never know if I really was cancer free..

Posts: 1
Joined: May 2010

I was diagnosed with stage 1a ovarian cancer in jan. 2010. I just completed my 6 chemo treatments. I thought I was going to have a body scan following but the Dr. said it was not necessary. Has everyone with this diagnosis had a scan following their chemo treatments or is it no longer necessary?

katie.bug's picture
Posts: 14
Joined: May 2010


I had a ct scan after I completed my 6 rounds but I was stage 4 so maybe they are watching me closer. I get a ct scan every 6 mo.

cancer survivor x 4's picture
cancer survivor x 4
Posts: 183
Joined: Sep 2009

Good Morning,
I was staged a 2B in June of 2009. I had cancer tumors on each ovary. Ascites(fluid) was clean, washing was clean, and lymph nodes were clean. I also had a clear cell. If my research is correct, clear cell is the most aggresive. Here is the problem with Stage I and Stage II. There are micro mini cells that can be left behind. The surgeon can not see them and the scans do not pick them up, because they are to small. The CA-125 blood test does not pick them up. The first line chemo Carbo/Taxol, should kill them off. It is a safety net. I took 6 rounds of chemo. I did not want to do it. My CA-125 when I walked out of the hospital was a 10. That is a good number. After 6 chemo treatments it dropped to 5. I suspected that my debulking surgery was a success, but I am not that naive to believe that this cancer was not going to come back. It killed my mother at 53, but she was a later stage and refused to have surgery. If they are recommending the chemo, take it. It will interrupt your life for 4 monthes, but it might also save your life. This kind of cancer is way to dangerous to fool around with. It is better to do everything you can now, then later. I am not trying to scare you, but this is serious business. Thank-You, Paula

Posts: 8
Joined: Jan 2010

Thank you for sharing your story. I was diagnosed with stage 1A and my doctor also wanted me to have the chemo. I had a total hysterectomy. I have already had one treatment and have another tomorrow. Because it is such an aggressive type of cancer I am not taking any chances that one cell was left. I figure it took one to get it started. It is a personal decision for each person but I am at peace with my decision.

I will keep you in my prayers.

lindaprocopio's picture
Posts: 2022
Joined: Oct 2008

My cancer cells were/are Papillary Serous, a rare Grade 3 cancer, just like Clear Cell, and Grade 3 cancers are aggressive and recurrent. Most women I know with papillary serous cancer cells in their pathology, even at Stage 1, take chemo as adjuvant therapy. You are so very blessed to have caught your cancer early, and have the opportunity to almost guarantee it will never come back. But if you wait, it can secretly make inroads and that chance for a cure can be lost. It is a very personal decision, but I know I'd do the chemo if I were in your position. I was Stage III-c at diagnosis and even with 6 rounds of chemo, my cancer returned. But I sure wanted to give myself my only (very slim at Stage 3) chance for a cure, and I don't regret taking the chemo, even in hindsight.

Hissy_Fitz's picture
Posts: 1869
Joined: Sep 2009

Clear cell is characterized in part by its aggressive metastasis. I would elect to be safe, rather than sorry, and zap whatever might be left with any treatment available. Every cancer begins with a single cell that morphs out of control.

I want to think my cancer (not clear cell) is gone, too. I have that "positive attitude" everyone keeps talking about. But I am pragmatic, too. I have elected to do monthly Taxol treatments after the completion of my six sessions of Carbo/Taxol next Monday. If something might give me an edge - even a small one - bring it on. That's my philosophy. However inconvenient or unpleasant the treatment might be, the possible alternative is worse - way worse.

On the other hand, my doctor has had women who refused treatment because they did not want to lose their hair. My friend's mom actually told her physician she would rather be dead than bald. It's your body........your decision.


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