Borderline ovarian tumor: hi i had a borderline... - My Ovacome

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Borderline ovarian tumor


hi i had a borderline ovarian tumor removed 6 weeks ago at the same time as my c section, my question is i went to get the results they told me its not cancer although it is borderline and grade 1a my question is if its borderline does that mean its not cancer but would turn that way, i haven't had my ovary removed yet I'm awaiting the appointment for the surgery.

he never mentioned anything about biopsies while they remove the ovary all he said was he would put a camera around my tummy.

I'm so confused do i have cancer or not

10 Replies

Hi Anisha. Borderline tumours are groups of irregular cells, which are not invasive. Cancer is irregular cells which are invasive. So the very short answer is no, you do not have cancer. However, borderline tumours can eventually turn cancerous in a small number of cases so sometimes they like to treat it like cancer (often minus the chemo) just to be sure. I had borderline tumours removed, but they came back and turned cancerous. But please don't panic, that's quite rare!! Your surgeon will assess your risk and suggest the appropriate course of action. You may need no further treatment at all 😊. Lots of people are just monitored without further treatment.

I hope that helps x

in reply to Jen85

thank you very much that's made me feel so much better, he has said to me that he will be removing my ovary, and I'm hoping this is all i have to go through, I'm so glad its not cancer, as i thought because the tumor had been graded that i had cancer, I'm so so scared as I'm only 22, but i know looking into it that the reoccurance is only 2% and that it doesn't normally travel.

the tumor has already been taken so all i have to have taken now is my ovary.

think you so much for your response.

in reply to anisha132

Your welcome 😊borderline is more common in young women. I know a couple of people on this site and we are all below 40. Ovarian cancer is more common in women over 55. Your right, borderline doesn't often spread and is generally slower to develop so it's the best diagnosis from that perspective x

Hi, this is my 1st reply ever.. I had a 10cm cyst removed in June. The surgeon told me that it all looked ok and that it would be sent to histology. 6 weeks later I get the call that I need to go to the hospital the next day.

I go to the hospital expecting to see the doctor but am met with a Macmillan nurse who tells me that I have a borderline serous ovarian tumour but it's not cancerous so don't panic. She gave me an Ovacome leaflet which said in the 1st paragraph 'this is a form of cancer'. I then calmed myself and wrote a list of questions including 'if its not cancer, why am I seeing a cancer nurse and If its not cancer why is it graded.

I phoned her the next day and she told me that it is a form of cancer but not an invasive one. She described it as being more like an abnormal smear. I asked her why it was graded and she explained that because it has the potential to change they check and my tests are also stage 1.

I had an ovary and tube removed on 20th June and have a meeting with the consultant to have completion surgery.

The consensus from the hospital etc is not to worry, it's nothing to worry about.

I had a 30cm borderline tumour removed 2 years ago (that's quite large obviously! I didn't have other symptoms I should have had like irregular periods, I imagine you didn't as you've been pregnant). My understanding is that it is not cancer below grade 2 basically but it's the family of it in terms of treatment that's why you see the same surgeons etc and it does seem like a grey area. They cut mine up and tested it just to be safe as the others have said. I was terrified so completely understand. Wishing you all the very best with this and I am sure it will just be having the operation and you will be okay. The other ovary takes over and ovulates more often for you with the same eggs- the body is very clever. xx

Hi Anisha. Grats on having your little one (much more important right now than a pesky borderline tumour, right?). The ladies have provided great information.

Just one thing I'd like to add: I would recommend that you look for an experienced gyn. oncologist in a big cancer center, for the regular check ups. Even if borderline cells are not malicious, the doctors might want to keep an eye on you and the remaining ovary just to be safe. And since borderline tumours are very rare, not many docs have a lot of experience treating or dealing with them. A place like the Royal Marsden or the Christies would be an example of a suitable cancer center. Yes, there's the cancer word again. Don't be scared though... it just means you get the best of care.

All the best. Maus

just an update my consultant has called me today and informed me that it is not cancer, rather it is abnormal cells that in time would turn into cancer, he said i am halfway through the hurdle as I've already had the tumor removed the next step is to take the ovary and tube away, i don't think they are very concerned as my surgery won't be for another 8-10 weeks so that in itself should make me feel alot calmer, many thanks for your replies, i am also going to question if this is a genetic thing as my aunty and my nan have both had treatment for abnormal cells, my aunty being laser removal and my nan being a full hysterectomy. So maybe this is something that runs in the genes.

many thanks ladies x

Hi Anisha. I had a Borderline - 22cm- removed 4 yrs ago at a big London teaching hospital. Fortunately, I had a surgeon who is in the 'not cancer' camp, because I wouldn't have liked to spend the last 4 yrs worrying about it. I had both ovaries and my uterus removed, because I'm post-menopausal and with such a big tumour he couldn't be sure till they'd looked at everything in the lab. He told me I had as much chance of further trouble as of being run over by a London bus. It's a small percentage of a small percentage.

Even so, I'm being monitored for 5 years. Mine was 1c, which means there was leakage from the tumour and there might be some cells that will start growing somewhere in my abdomen. The chances are they won't, and if they do, it won't be cancer, but might squash something else. 1a means that your cyst was intact and there shouldn't be a problem for you.

But he did say that what happens to one ovary, tends to happen to the other. So I agree with Maus. You need to be kept an eye on by a gynaeoncologist, who will monitor you regularly with scans and bloods till you've completed your family, when they might advise you to have the other ovary out, just to be sure, since you're so young with so many years ahead of you.

Enjoy your new baby! Hope you've got a lot of help. A C section and a cyst can't have been easy for you.


HI Anisha,

Im 27 and was diagnosed with borderline serous tumor on my left ovary last month. It has been such a rollercoaster I panicked a lot the first few weeks . I don't have any children yet and I am awaiting the doctors recommendations right now (to find out if they will remove the ovary or not). I didn't have a cystectomy ,but I had an ovarian wedge resection and that is how they found it. There wasn't anything abnormal just by looking at my ovaries so it was a total surprise .

I'd like to follow up with you to see how everything went with the surgery so keep us informed.

i saw my consultant yesterday who said that they are more like a smear with abnormal cells in the tumour he explained that the cells were non invasive which meant they never started to invade the tissue of the ovary, he said there's a 2% chance of cancer being found in the ovary but they aren't expecting it to be they're expecting to find borderline cells in the ovary, he also said he's that calm that he'd quite happily leave the ovary and just scan me but as its caused so much pain for me in the past they want to remove it x

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