Ovarian Cancer Worry: Hi.. this is my first... - Anxiety Support

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Ovarian Cancer Worry


Hi.. this is my first time posting. I have suffered from health anxiety for over 20 years (I'm now 42) which got worse after the sudden passing of my husband 6 years ago.

It's been pretty manageable thanks to numerous counselling and CBT sessions, but since June this year it's gone a bit crazy. I started feeling very bloated and 'bigger' around the middle of my belly. I am alot overweight, but I seemed to fill out all of a sudden for no particular reason. Monthly cycle gone from regular and heavy to still being regular but very light. The bloating seems to be getting worse and I have very little appetite. I'm now suffering with constipation and pain the lower back. Thought it might have been a flare up of IBS but no medications I take seems to help.

Visited my GP a fortnight ago and she agreed that I met some of the red flags for OC. She did an examination of my belly and said there was no obvious swelling. She ordered a Ca 125 blood test and referred me to gynae for an scan. Blood test has come back as 12 which I've been told is good, however I'm still extremely anxious that there is something sinister going on. The wait for the scan appt is taking forever and I'm constantly looking on line at OC symptoms, which I'm convinced I have them all. People tell you to listen to your body and trust your gut instinct yet mine is screaming cancer.

I'm going out of my mind with worry. It's affecting my relationship with my lower little girl and I can't concentrate in work. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

10 Replies

What a scary and difficult time for you.

As hard as it may seem, you need to try not to search online - it will only raise your anxiety but make no difference to whether you do or don’t have cancer.

It is possible to have all the symptoms of something and still not have it or have no symptoms but still have something. Sometimes we also ‘find’ symptoms that aren’t really there if we are worrying and looking for them - convincing ourselves we have something which we don’t. You have done the right thing by going to see a doctor but you really have no way of knowing until you have the scan.

Take comfort in the fact that, even though you have some symptoms (which could equally be a sign of something far less serious), none of the examinations so far - physical exam and blood test - have shown any sign of something being wrong. Talk to friends and family (or people on here!) about how you are feeling and try not to second guess the results- as someone who also suffers from health anxiety, I know how difficult that is. You have done all of the right things. In my opinion, if they were really concerned, you would have been sent for a much more urgent scan.

Regardless of what might happen in the future, this right now is also your life, so try not to waste it worrying.

Thank you for replying. It's greatly appreciated.

Worriedmum41, you have just diagnosed yourself with ovarian cancer. Even though the Ca25 came back as good. Even though your doctor examined you and said she could find no signs of ovarian cancer.

Unless you went to medical school for 3 years I respectfully suggest you're not qualified to make decisions like that. But you appear to have made your mind up.

Your doctor referred you for a scan not because she believes you have cancer but to see if anything is amiss generally in your lower abdomen. If your doctor thought ovarian cancer is present you wouldn't be "waiting forever for an appointment." Your scan would be urgently fast tracked. The fact that it hasn't is reason for reassurance.

When the result of the scan is known and if it's the all clear on OC you must accept that diagnosis. Don't think 'Oh, they must have missed something." You must accept the diagnosis and move on. I think maybe you are still grieving for the loss of your husband and your nerves are somewhat sensitive. That's what is magnifying normal concern into abnormal worry.

I have a friend older than yourself who was recently diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer. She had a medical procedure followed by chemotherapy. The chemo wasn't nice but she has recovered now, back to work as if nothing had happened.

Calm yourself, all the evidence looks like you've been misled by that old quack Doctor Google. In his time he has diagnosed me with liver disease, thyroid problems, lung cancer, kidney stones, irritable bowel syndrome and glaucoma. All lies, WorrienMum, I never had any of them. You're going to come out of this fine, believe me. This is not the end of your life, not by a long chalk.

Please report Doctor Google to the Medical Association, we're trying to get him struck off the register!

Thank you for replying. It's greatly appreciated.

I had a very similar situation. Went through scans, blood tests, cat scans etc. and emergency surgery, all within 6 days. It turned out to be just a cyst. Did your doctor do an internal exam? If so, they are able to feel the ovaries. That is how my problem was discovered. If she didn't feel anything and the blood test was Ok, I would try to relax.

Worriedmum41 in reply to b1b1b1

Hi. Thank you for replying. No, she didn't perform an internal examination. She only gave my stomach the once over. I'll wait for the scan and take it from there.

I don't know how long the wait would be, especially if you are in the UK, where, from what I can see, the waits are very long. In order to relieve your anxiety you could try seeing a gynecologist while waiting for the scan.

Worriedmum41 in reply to b1b1b1

Yes in the UK the waiting lists are very long. I've already been referred to gynae for the scan and this cam take up to 8-12 weeks. II can go back and ask my gp for a private referral which I may do as in all fairness to her, I don't think I've been referred as an urgent case. It's a small price to pay for reassurance though.

I agree. Reassurance is important and many (most?) doctors don't take their patient's anxiety and fears into account. They should

Worriedmum41 in reply to b1b1b1

I agree. Anxiety is hard, but when you struggle with HA as well as GAD it can be difficult to put things into perspective. Common sense and logic does tend to be the farthest thing on your mind. I suppose that's why I panic so much. I don't feel certain docs give patients the benefit of the doubt. I'm now lucky to have found a very understanding doctor, however that's not always been the case.

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