Ovary removal 6cm in older women

Hi all

In older ladies is it more likely to be cancer? I have a mass in my left ovary and today was told at my appointment that both ovaries need to be removed but only a 5 -10 %chance it is cancer, and only looking under microscope can anyone know unti then. Major operation and can not do keyhole because of size but surely they could do ? if its not cancer then major op not nessacary?

Blood test was normal just bloating pain etc

my thoughts are being 76 its more than likely cancer?

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24 Replies

  • You are best going with what the surgeon advises, none of us are experts ..and neither have we got the information that your medical team has got... It is best to be safe than sorry, did you know the operation isn't as big in older people as it is in younger people because ovaries etc shrink as one gets older... there was an older lady in hospital the same time as myself having had an hysterectomy and her scar was much smaller and she explained the reason why...

    I think it is best to go along with conventional surgery because if you are wrong then it would be too late... (the operation is not that bad honestly).

    Best wishes x G x

  • Many thanks for your advice Gwyn xx

  • I think that you need to believe the medics in terms of not knowing exactly what is is until they have looked at it. The fact that they are doing it as open surgery only indicates that they think it would be difficult to do laparoscopically.

    I know it's hard not to worry but try not to get too stressed until you get your results, which I hope are good.

    Best wishes

    Zannah x

  • Sorry I meant to say may be difficult to do laparoscopically. As Gwyn said the reasons for doing it this way are good. Trust your medics x

  • Thankyou Zannah much appreciated xx

  • Dear Chel

    I think it's natural to worry when you get news of a mass even if your specialist is reassuring and says it's not likely to be malignant. I found it difficult to put my faith in people I'd never met before whereas I'd built up a great trust with my GP. I am sure you have been given fantastic advice by the new team and they are telling you what is best for you because they will have had years of experience in your specific condition and as Gwyn says will have all the details of your medical background and your general health.

    Have you been assigned a Clinical Nurse Specialist? They are good people to get in touch with if you're unsure about something, or you could just ask to go over the treatment plan with your GP. Mine was a tower of support in the early days whilst I got used to the new team. Another helpful source of reassurance is the Nurse-led line offered by Ovacome.

    It does sound very hopeful that they have been able to give you such an optomistic prognosis. Keep posting and we'll do our best to support you. Coping with a new diagnosis is never easy.

    Annie x

  • Annie yes they have given me number for the mc millian sister specialist thanks to all and i will keep on updating xx

  • Hi there and welcome. The vast majority of growths are not cancerous even in women who aren't ovulating, I,e. releasing an egg. A number of years ago now, before I developed cancer, I had a large cystadenoma which was about 6 cm according to the ultrasound. I was left for 6 months and by the time it was removed, it was very big. I was 17lb lighter after the op on the ward. The surgeons had to drain it first and then go about removing the walls which were stuck to all sorts of things making it difficult to get out. It was benign as are most cysts. Your doctor, to my mind, has made a sensible plan to take it out when the operation, though significant (as it's not a laparoscopy) is routine and straightforward for most women. Some cysts grow quite quickly as mine did and are best removed as soon as possible. So, the cyst's removal isn't necessarily about cancer as your doctor has told you. Though high grade Ovarian is more common in older women, this is still a rare cancer and considering the number of women in this country, there are very few women who get it each year. (Around 7000. With about 6300 being high grade and about 700 low which generally appears in younger women.)


    As Corporal Jones says in Dad's Army, 'Don't panic. Don't panic,' but I really do understand your concerns.

    Sending a hug your way.

    T xx

  • Thankyou Tina for your kind and reassuring words xx

  • Better out than in, my niece aged 43 had what was thought ovarian cysts to be removed by keyhole surgery. Unfortunately one burst and spilled into the abdomen. The resulting biopsy showed it to be stage 1 cancer. She then had to endure chemo and loss of hair. Thankfully two years on she is clear. It demonstrates the importance of early detection and remedy. The fact they are not doing keyhole I would say is a blessing, less chance of dropping the damn thing.

    Tina, its laparotomy not laparoscopy, the latter being a camera investigation. Sorry... xx Paul

  • Thanks Paul xx

  • Paul many thanks great advice appreciated x

  • Hi there

    Completely agree with the above advice. The doctors definitely won't know , ss in be 100 per cent certain, what they are dealing with until the mass has been removed. However if there is fluid in your abdomen or masses elsewhere this would point to more sinister findings....and it sounds as if there is nothing else there which is great news.

    Keyhole surgery should never be done if there is even the slightest suspicion of cancer. I have heard of so many cases where cysts that turned out to be cancerous have burst during minimally invasive procedures, with terrible consequences.

    Your surgeon is being wise in my very humble opinion. By opening up they will be able to have a good look around , all better for you in the long term.

    I am so sorry that this has happened to you...best of luck and let us know how you get on.

    Charlie xxx

  • Thank you Charlie so good all of everyone's advice and made me feel better x

  • I'm 59 and I had everything removed plus a 9cm x 6cm tumour, with open surgery. I was told this was the safest way to remove everything. They told me it was malignant two weeks after my op. My bloods were also normal. They didn't know it was cancer until the tumour went to pathology. Go with the advice, after all at our age we don't really need those bits any more. My operation no doubt has saved my life. Fingers crossed for a good outcome for you.

    Kat xxx

  • Thankyou Kat. Whats happening now? Do you need chemotherapy? Hope you are ok. I go to see preassesment for op in 2 weeks so from then should be 2 weeks after? Such a worry i had hysterectamy years back wish now had ovaries out then xx

  • Hi Chel

    No chemo for me, my tumour was low grade. I'm to have a mammogram and a CT scan in early June and then see my consultant in out patients.

    Good luck with your surgery and everything crossed for you for a good outcome.

    Kat xxx

  • Thanks Kat

    I have another letter now saying to go for pre asses on Monday but also keep other appointment in two weeks as well.

    I will keep on here and let you know. Is recovery quite long?

    xx Joan

  • If you have a radical hysterectomy and have an incision running down the abdomen you will need to rest up for approximately six weeks to allow the internal stitches to heal (apparently there are 100s) and the muscle tissue to be restored. That doesn't mean all bed-rest but gradually doing a little more exercise every day.

    My team advised me to take plenty of rest for the first week, and after that to walk for 5 mins the first day and gradually work that up to half an hour each day. Apparently the movement as you walk helps the healing process.

    What is essential is not to do any lifting at all. This has certain advantages for us - no ironing, no cleaning, not even lifting a kettle of water. Let you nearest and dearest wait on you and spoil you rotten whilst you recover. My surgeon told me not to lift anything heavier than a credit card for 6 weeks! I'm lucky I've had no problems since then so I assume everything healed as it should.

    Best of luck with your surgery. Keep posting and let us know how you're getting on. xx Annie

  • Thanks Annie. I had hysterectomy years back so just removing ovaries but still big op my dr tells me.

    Will do and thanks again Joan xx

  • whoops. I probably didn't read your post properly. Look at me telling Granny how to suck eggs!!!! I guess any op that opens up the abdomen is a big one. The good news from my own experience though is that if you have had a previous abdominal op and they open along the same scar recovery seems to be quicker and less painful the second time. That's what I found anyway. Hope it's the case for you. xxxx

  • Hi all

    I have my op next Wed 11th June. Very anxious as we all seem to be in this situation. The consultant says that I will have to have lining of stomach taken away along with both ovarys. How long before recovery etc

    Just be glad when its over :(

  • Hi op on Wed getting very nervous no x

  • Hello

    my mum Joan asked to write. i am her daughter and she has had op all went plan taken both ovaries and tubes and stomach lining also. She is quite a lot of pain but worries alot thats it more than likely cance due to her age etc. They said next wed results very op. They are calling it ovarian mass not cyst would this indicate more than likely to be cancer? thanks for any advice kerry x

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