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Diagnosed with pelvic exam only???

eksthompson
Posts: 1
Joined: May 2010

Hello,

I am writing as the daughter of a 66 year old, prior to now very healthy, seemingly invincible mother. She just got insurance within the last year, after many years of having none, and after breaking her pelvis (which has healed beautifully since) in Dec., was set up for a series of screening tests recommended at her age. Her mammogram (first ever) was normal, her bone density scan showed osteoporosis, and just today she was told that she has uterine cancer. I am devastated. My mother and I are so close, and she has lived such a good life, overcoming many challenges. She is feeling pretty strong as she feels perfectly healthy (other than having been tired a lot lately), walks three miles/day, eats well, is at a normal wt., etc., and has none of the symptoms currently. Because of this, when she first told me about the diagnosis she said "early stage" uterine cancer. After reading some online I realized that, based on a pelvic exam alone, she couldn't possibly have this information yet. So here are my questions:

1.) Is it possible for the doctor to reliably know that it's likely early stage since she is not showing any symptoms yet, based on a pelvic exam alone, or were some of you diagnosed prior to symptoms and still with a later stage?

2.) The doctor stated that she waited until the results of all my mom's tests were back, so that she wouldn't have to call her again later if the ovaries were also involved. To me, this implies that she feels the ovaries are not involved. Again, is it possible to know this with just a pelvic exam?

3.) She knows she will have to have a hysterectomy. Of course, she was diagnosed on a Friday and when she called the surgeon's office she was referred to (not sure of exact specialty), the office staff said the doctor would have to look at her test results and get back to her. So, it will definitely not be before Monday before she hears anything more (they did also state that they're not sure if they take her insurance). I want her to do it as soon as possible to make sure it doesn't spread. What was the timeframe for most of you from diagnosis to surgery/tx? What is the likelihood she will also need radiation or chemo? What was the recovery like?

4.) Any other advice or things to ask the doctor when we go?

Thank you all so much for taking the time to read this, and for those who can respond, thank you in advance. I'm sorry it is so long, but I'm just really worried and my mom is probably too scared to do too much online reading before she knows more.

nempark
Posts: 683
Joined: Apr 2010

Hi I was diagnosed in Nov 2009 and was scheduled for immediate radical hysterectomy. My regular was the one who found the cancer due to a biopsy. Then I went to another great doc who immediately scheduled me for a robotic surgery with out blood. First doc said that they will do a hysterectormy and that it will be over with (no chemo) well second doc did surgery and I had six sessions of Chemo (no side effects at all). Your mom must do the surgery immediately because there can be aggressive cells. The hospital I went to accepted my insurance but guess what the anastheiologist and pathologist were not under the coverage of my insurance (how on earth was I to know this) so now I am stuck with a number of bills totalling over 12,000. So please be very careful ask questions and make sure you get pre approval. I know when you or a loved one gets sick you never think of asking these questions. Anyway, when the second doctor checked me before surgery he said that I had about stage 111 and when I told first Doc she was mad she said he cannot know the stage until he does the operation. Fortunately when the operation was over He told me that it was a stage 1a. I have just completed my series of chemo no radiation and if you your mom is in stage 1 she will be fine. The moment I was diagnosed a friend brought me a number of herbal medicine which I am still taking and my first scan after completion of chemo was clear. Believe me darling, I swear by these herbs, and I will be going on Wednesday 12 to see another herbalist for maintenance. I hope your mom has a good attitude and is not worrying too much. I can only imagine how devasted you all are. But its amazing how you will get through this. When I was diagnosed it was like a dream and still is like a dream. I feel for anyone who has to go through this but this Great God of the universe has given us the ability to endure. Hang in there and be there for your mom and the rest of the family. Is there a dad? Take care of your self. What is your age? Wish I can be there to give you big hugs. Tell mom it is not the end of the world she can beat this horrible disease. If you feel like it you can can e-mail me at juneadria@msn.com. I know what you and mom are going through, my heart hurts for you. I was just there. June

By the way tell mom to ask the doc about a total hysterctomy.

nempark
Posts: 683
Joined: Apr 2010

by the way, I forget to mention that recovery from the hyst. is a breeze what ever stage she is in and most cases to be on the safe side she will have to have chemo. Please let me know how every thing went. Do you have siblings?

jazzy1's picture
jazzy1
Posts: 1385
Joined: Mar 2010

Welcome!!

I had minor vaginal spotting and when approached my OB he had me do vaginal ultrasound,which showed some uterine wall thickening. Had a D &C which showed to small fibroids. Then to pathology which showed CANCER. Was informed I would have a TOTAL hysterectomy, which meant going into menopause. During surgery the oncologist removed 25 lymph nodes and took samples. Pathology only found cancer in one lymph node in pelvic area....yeah it didn't move upwards which isn't good.

Affer completing 6 rounds of chemo and 33 sessions of radiation last July I'm cancer free. I have 3 wonderful doctors which have held my hand throughout the whole process and grateful I'm alive and doing well.

Time frame -- learned had cancer after D&C and 2 weeks later had the total hysterectomy...doc didn't want to wait too long. Then met with oncologist for first time after hysterectomy and informed me I'd need treatments, starting with chemo. I had a 2 week break after surgery before chemo and felt just fine. You'd think I would have been just wiped out from the surgery and then going to chemo, but I survived very well.

You mentioned that you mom is exercising and eating very well and feels good. Then why could she have cancer you ask??? I asked the same thing and kept thinking "oh I don't have cancer". Hum...it's very sneaky and does show up even if feel well. So don't be swayed by how well your mom is feeling now, that cancer can be floating inside.

Lastly, I'm 53 years and prior to my cancer diagnosis I was always the picture of health -- worked out DAILY, ate fairly well and in general a very health gal. So where did this come from what my big question??? We live in a world with many toxins from the air we breathe and pesticides in many of our foods....so add that up and see what can add to any cancer diagnosis. Today I try to eat mostly plant type foods, taking a complete line of liquid vitamins and exercise daily. Even though I thought I was in great health, today I'm even healthier. Hope the cancer is put to bed forever, and if not, I'll be the strong trooper and fight it once more!!!

Hope I helped you and plse come back and let us know how all goes with her doc appts.

Jan

jazzy1's picture
jazzy1
Posts: 1385
Joined: Mar 2010

Welcome!!

I had minor vaginal spotting and when approached my OB he had me do vaginal ultrasound,which showed some uterine wall thickening. Had a D &C which showed to small fibroids. Then to pathology which showed CANCER. Was informed I would have a TOTAL hysterectomy, which meant going into menopause. During surgery the oncologist removed 25 lymph nodes and took samples. Pathology only found cancer in one lymph node in pelvic area....yeah it didn't move upwards which isn't good.

Affer completing 6 rounds of chemo and 33 sessions of radiation last July I'm cancer free. I have 3 wonderful doctors which have held my hand throughout the whole process and grateful I'm alive and doing well.

Time frame -- learned had cancer after D&C and 2 weeks later had the total hysterectomy...doc didn't want to wait too long. Then met with oncologist for first time after hysterectomy and informed me I'd need treatments, starting with chemo. I had a 2 week break after surgery before chemo and felt just fine. You'd think I would have been just wiped out from the surgery and then going to chemo, but I survived very well.

You mentioned that you mom is exercising and eating very well and feels good. Then why could she have cancer you ask??? I asked the same thing and kept thinking "oh I don't have cancer". Hum...it's very sneaky and does show up even if feel well. So don't be swayed by how well your mom is feeling now, that cancer can be floating inside.

Lastly, I'm 53 years and prior to my cancer diagnosis I was always the picture of health -- worked out DAILY, ate fairly well and in general a very health gal. So where did this come from what my big question??? We live in a world with many toxins from the air we breathe and pesticides in many of our foods....so add that up and see what can add to any cancer diagnosis. Today I try to eat mostly plant type foods, taking a complete line of liquid vitamins and exercise daily. Even though I thought I was in great health, today I'm even healthier. Hope the cancer is put to bed forever, and if not, I'll be the strong trooper and fight it once more!!!

Hope I helped you and plse come back and let us know how all goes with her doc appts.

Jan

Kaleena's picture
Kaleena
Posts: 2033
Joined: Nov 2009

Hello:

Sorry to hear that your mom has to go through this uncertainty. When I was first having trouble, they did a laproscopy. They said I had severe endometroisis (not cancer). Scheduled me for total hysterectomy. I have in severe pain at that time. I had asked whether there should be some scan done and they said no because it won't show the endometrois. After hysterectomy, they found out that I had endometrois adenocarcinoma. So I had to go and have another staging surgery a month after my hysterectomy (full incision). They found nothing else. (I also had an internal sonogram of my pelvis too and they couldn't see anything)

I don't see how they can tell that it is cancer unless they had atypical cells on a PAP smear or if they did an MRI or a CT scan or a PET Scan. Sometimes they do a CA125 blood test to see if it is elevated. Anything below 35 is considered normal. However, this is not a reliable source because inflammation and other stuff can elevate this. Also, my CA125 was always within normal range so it never came into play.

Also, if her diagnosis is based on a PAP Smear, I would probably redo that too. Or ask for a PET scan first to see if anything "lights" up (cancer lights up on this test). Or get a second opinion.

Best advice, if it doesn't feel right to you, ask another. When you first get a diagnosis, the first thing you want is to get it out but you may find out that some doctors don't rush into treatment. But before you RUSH into anything, do your research and ask questions! A good doctor will give you his opinion and then offer several options for you. If they don't I would seek another doctor's professional opinion.

I hope this helps. You have to be your own advocate because some doctors don't look at a patient, they just follow the routine guidelines. We know our bodies and how we feel.

Last note: Whether your mom is early stage or advanced stage, the treatment is usually the same. Taxol/Carboplatin and then some form of radiation.

My best wishes to you and your mom.

Kathy

Kaleena's picture
Kaleena
Posts: 2033
Joined: Nov 2009

One other thing, the other treatment option is a wait and see approach every three months followed up with CT Scans and blood work.

Ro10's picture
Ro10
Posts: 1579
Joined: Jan 2009

I am 61 years old. I too thought I was in good health before my cancer diagnosis. I had a routine PAP test in Oct. 08 which showed highly suspicious for adenocarcinoma. I then had a endometrial biopsy which also indicated that it was highly suspicious for adenocarcinoma. I was then sent to an GYN/Onocologist. Because I had no symptoms both my regular gynecologist and the GYN/Onocologist felt I would only need the hysterectomy and nothing else. Because I had no symptoms and I was a candidate for the DaVinci Robotic surgery, my surgery was scheduled for January 09.

What a shock it was to come out of surgery and find out that the cancer had spread to lymph nodes and I was going to need chemo and radiation. I was only in the hospital overnight after my surgery. I started chemo 3 weeks after my surgery. I did well with the chemo and radiation. My main side effect was fatigue, but it was not as severe as many others was. I had my last chemo in August 09 and would say that by December I was back to my usual energy level.

I now have what the GYN/Onocologist calls a slow reoccurrence and am under observation with lab test and CAT scans every 6 weeks, the next one is a 2 month interval. My CA 125 continue to rise, but the CAT scans show 3 suspicious areas, so that is why I have the frequent observation.

If your Mom does need chemo I would highly recommend that she gets a port inserted. I did not get one right away and regretted it when they had to do multiple sticks for lab and chemo. I had a power port inserted before my fourth chemo. They still use it for lab and CAT scans.

Good luck to you and your Mom. I hope the surgery goes well and if she has cancer it is in the early stage. Feel free to ask any other questions you may have. In peace and caring.

aprillorey's picture
aprillorey
Posts: 104
Joined: Apr 2010

Hello

1st let me tell you how sorry i am about your mothers cancer ( this is not a easy time ) i am 29 years old and bleed alot of big clots for a few years i knew somthing was wrong with me but all my paps showed up Normal doctors played it off as just a bleeding disorder since i was young and had skiped some periods off and on ETC.

i bleed for 5 years off and on and they did a D&C to clean things up they also took some tisue and ran a test that showed i had Utraus Cancer. ( early stages )

one big thing you should now this is a slow cancer not a fast cancer if they say your mom is in early stages this is good.

i was told in March i had the cancer that day forever changed my Life it was a few weeks before i had the full hysterctomy and tumor and lym nodes was removed that was April 16th 2010 so only 3 weeks ago

due to being over weight they cut me open like a C secson cut but instead of side to side it went up and down.

as for radition & chemo if your mom is stage 1 like me she may not need any treatment . how ever for me my tumor im told was very big and there fore im undergoing radition in a few weeks . only 5 rounds of it so it should not be so bad.

tell your mom to have the total hysterctomy have all removed this is what they did with me

and this way the cancer cant spreed.

i will tell you when i 1st found out about my cancer my deepest fear was get this nasty thing out of me before it spreeds i kept fearing it would spred i learn that this cancer is a slow growing cancer it didnt have time to spred

please ask any Questions you have

this is a grate place and has helped me big time

right now my advice is be there for your mom as u all ready are i know i dont have alot of family support i have my husband through and it helps to have others to chat to when u feel u need to

finding out you or your loved one has cancer is scary

and brings so much fear

my prayers are with your mom keep us updated

dell122
Posts: 2
Joined: Jun 2010

Welcome!

I am sorry for the situation your mom and yourself are going through. I am 65. I am not a cancer survivor, but since the age of 19 I have been through a number of what are called degenerative chronic diseases, such as: bloating and indigestion, frequent infections, including Candida infections, gingivitis, chronic fatigue, acid sweat, hypertension, arthritis. In 1980 I was hospitalized two weeks to check for leukemia. The tests were finally negative. During the difficult years I went through I have learnt that before being a medical concern our health is first of all a matter of keeping balances in our nutrition, our physical activities and in the physical and emotional environment we live in. Many scientists agree today that a healthy lifestyle should be considered as being the main answer against any disease.

Your mom has been diagnosed with cancer and osteoporosis. Both are degenerative diseases. For each individual degenerative disease a variety of causes are blamed. But the most common leading cause for most degenerative diseases, including cancer and osteoporosis, is acidosis or body over-acidity. For nutritionists, acidosis is mainly a nutrition deficiency disease. Our metabolism, our physiology and our immune system, processes and organization that sustain our body health and life itself, work at their optimum levels only when our body pH is slightly alkaline. That is the case when our blood pH is in the range 7.35-7.45. It is only in that condition that the body is empowered to prevent diseases and to heal itself with or without prescription medications. Below and beyond the body optimal pH range come the pH zones where degenerative diseases develop one after another, reflecting a deterioration of body vital functions. This deterioration is a general condition. This explains why degenerative chronic diseases never come alone.

Acidosis itself may be caused by an environmental pollution or by some health conditions. However scientific studies show that the main cause of body over-acidity is our unbalanced lifestyle in general and our nutrition in particular. Too much emotional stress, a lack of physical activities and our modern acidic diet are the three major factors in our lifestyle that lead to acidosis, the seedbed of cancer, osteoporosis, and of most other chronic diseases.

To arm our body to heal cancer and osteoporosis we need to change our lifestyle. We need to lessen our emotional stresses, have some physical activities, adopt an alkaline diet and drink a lot of water. An alkaline diet includes a lot of vegetables and fruits, very few meat, cereals and sugar and no soda. Want to have details on body pH, acidosis, alkaline diet, their relation to cancer and osteoporosis, please don’t hesitate to contact me at grp_122@yahoo.com.

Hope I helped somewhat. God bless your mom. Keep us updated.

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