Ovary removal

I am 66 years old. I have been monitored for fibroids. This week I went for an ultrasound scan and vaginal scan. The fibroids had shrunk but my right ovary had enlarged. in September the scan showed a cyst on my ovary. The gynaecologist advised me to have my ovaries removed and is making an appointment for me to be admitted. She did say the other option was to have an MRI scan presumably to determine why the enlargement. My dilemma is, should I have them removed or have the scan? My CA-125 was normal and I have no family history of ovarian cancer or breast cancer. If I do have them removed how will I feel afterwards? I still suffer from hot flushes etc..

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  • Hi

    Don't be afraid of the operation I had my ovaries removed on the 29th Feb along with samples taken from my omentum and womb. The operation was keyhole surgery with 4 small cuts. I was asleep for 2 hours and home the same day. Obviously any abdominal surgery is painful for a while but manageable. I was driving again after a week and quite able to do most things after a few days. Sometimes the discomfort is your bodies way of reminding you to take it easy for a while.

    From my CT scan and 2 ultrasounds I was told I had a cyst on right ovary which did not look normal and I was quite happy to have my ovaries removed without hesitation as although it might not be OC at the moment it could change in the future. They cannot always tell from scans exactly what it is until it is removed and examined at the lab. I was operated on at Addenbrokes by a Gynae Oncologist who found 5cm cysts on both ovaries when removed but still did not know for sure what it was.

    I am one of the lucky ones as my results were clear. OC is such a terrible disease I would not risk for one minute not having the op that way even if it is ok you know you will never have to endure this in the future

    If you have had the menopause I think you will find symptoms afterwards are minimal. I am 55 and had an early menopause 13 years ago when I had breast cancer and since my op on 29th I have had a couple of flushes and that is it

    Hope this helps but if you need to know anymore just let me know

    Wendy

  • Thank you for your answer to my question and I agree with you. I would happily go ahead with the removal but for the fact that I have done some research online and discovered that the possibility of cardiovascular disease and lung cancer is linked to ovary removal. I still smoke (have tried to give up) but even if I do the risk of lung cancer will not be removed until 10 years time. Ovary removal and smoking will I imagine exacerbate both of these diseases. I am also on beta blockers because I had ventricular tachycardia. More people die from these two diseases. My father died of myocardial infarction and both my mother and sister had respiratory problems. Unfortunately my family were not long livers. This worries me somewhat. I definitely do not want OC but also the chances of dying of CVD and LC seem greater.

  • An MRI scan will only show abnormalities with the ovary. If they remove the ovary they will be able to test it and give a definitive diagnosis. If you are just having your ovaries removed it is likely that this could be done with keyhole surgery, which has a much quicker recovery time.

  • Thank you for the answer to my question. I agree with you and would happily go ahead with the removal but for the fact that I have done some research online and discovered that the possibility of cardiovascular disease and lung cancer is linked to ovary removal. I still smoke (have tried to give up) but even if I do the risk of lung cancer will not be removed until 10 years time. Ovary removal and smoking will I imagine exacerbate both of these diseases. I am also on beta blockers because I had ventricular tachycardia. More people die from these two diseases. My father died of myocardial infarction and both my mother and sister had respiratory problems. Unfortunately my family were not long livers. This worries me somewhat. I definitely do not want OC but also the chances of dying of CVD and LC seem greater.ank you for your answer to my question.

  • All you can do is discuss the risk with your consultant I was told by my consultant that its very rare for the cancer to spread from the ovaries to the lungs. I was worried because they found cancer cells in my chest.

  • Corncrake, I would go for the removal of your ovarys, I would always say better safe than sorry, once theyve gone and they have been tested you will know what you are dealing with,if there is any problem it will be at a really early stage,if all is clear all well and good at our age i'm 62 we really dont need them anyway.Let us know what you decide and the result dont think you will be any worse with the hot flushes. Love Sue x

  • thank you for the answer to my question. I agree with you and would happily go ahead with the removal but for the fact that I have done some research online and discovered that the possibility of cardiovascular disease and lung cancer is linked to ovary removal. I still smoke (have tried to give up) but even if I do the risk of lung cancer will not be removed until 10 years time. Ovary removal and smoking will I imagine exacerbate both of these diseases. I am also on beta blockers because I had ventricular tachycardia. More people die from these two diseases. My father died of myocardial infarction and both my mother and sister had respiratory problems. Unfortunately my family were not long livers. This worries me somewhat. I definitely do not want OC but also the chances of dying of CVD and LC seem greater.

  • I would go for removal of your ovaries, but in addition, I would ask to have your fallopian tubes removed too, as it looks distinctly possible that many ovarian cancers actually start in the fallopian tubes.

  • Thank you for the answer to my question. I agree with you and would happily go ahead with the removal but for the fact that I have done some research online and discovered that the possibility of cardiovascular disease and lung cancer is linked to ovary removal. I still smoke (have tried to give up) but even if I do the risk of lung cancer will not be removed until 10 years time. Ovary removal and smoking will I imagine exacerbate both of these diseases. I am also on beta blockers because I had ventricular tachycardia. More people die from these two diseases. My father died of myocardial infarction and both my mother and sister had respiratory problems. Unfortunately my family were not long livers. This worries me somewhat. I definitely do not want OC but also the chances of dying of CVD and LC seem greater.

  • There seems to be somewhat contradictory evidence about the effect of ovary removal on risk of cardiovascular disease:

    women.webmd.com/news/201104...

    The two large studies discussed in the article linked to above had study populations with different age profiles. The study which did find a link had a study population with a much lower age profile than the one which found no link. It makes sense that those who had their ovaries removed before menopause would have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, because women's risk of cvd increases dramatically after menopause. The study population in the study that found no link were primarily postmenopausal, which would presumably explain the lack of a link.

    As I assume from your age that you are postmenopausal, you fit the second study population much more closely than the first, and so probably don't have to worry about an increased risk of cvd.

    Lung cancer I cannot comment on without more online research myself.

    What I am sure of is that you need to discuss your concerns with your doctor and get his or her opinion on whether the increased risk of lung cancer and cvd outweigh the perceived risk of ovarian cancer. Your doctor is likely to have taken into account factors of which you may be unaware when recommending that you have your ovaries removed. As all too many of us know to our cost, CA125 is not always a good predictor in these cases!

    Best of luck, and I hope you make a decision which proves right for you.

    Barbara

  • Hm, googling on lung cancer and ovary removal brought up this link:

    nytimes.com/2009/07/25/heal...

    Again, this association only appears to exist where menopause has been surgically induced by ovary removal. I don't think you fall into the population identified as having an increased risk.

    Barbara

  • Hi Corncrake!

    Like the others on here I would go for the ovary removal and then they can run tests on the bits that they take out. It is so important to catch these things at an early stage. I had similar sounding symptoms to you, especially the fibroids and had my op nearly 10 years ago now, and so far so good ;-) It was at an early stage. I do get hot flushes but there is plenty of info on here about coping with that too, when and if the time comes

    All the best

    Love Wendy xx

  • thank you for the answer to my question. I agree with you and would happily go ahead with the removal but for the fact that I have done some research online and discovered that the possibility of cardiovascular disease and lung cancer is linked to ovary removal. I still smoke (have tried to give up) but even if I do the risk of lung cancer will not be removed until 10 years time. Ovary removal and smoking will I imagine exacerbate both of these diseases. I am also on beta blockers because I had ventricular tachycardia. More people die from these two diseases. My father died of myocardial infarction and both my mother and sister had respiratory problems. Unfortunately my family were not long livers. This worries me somewhat. I definitely do not want OC but also the chances of dying of CVD and LC seem greater.

  • Just to give you a bit of hope, I'd tried giving up smoking for about 30 years without too much success. I went in for my op on a Monday and had induced non-smoking for four days, while I couldn't get out to have a smoke. When my husband brought me a fleece to wear, when I was getting up and about, it smelled so revolting (from home), that it made me sick. I still haven't had a fag and that was nearly ten years ago. It can be done!

    Good luck ;-)

    Wendy xx

  • It seems to me that you have made your mind up that you feel you have more chance of dying of cvd or lc - in that case discuss it with your consultant and be happy with your choice.

    You could try again to give up smoking - even with the ten year wait for the risk of lc to kick in you would probably feel much better for not smoking. At 66 years old removal of your ovaries would not induce the menopause.

    You also need to remember that all of the replies you have received (including mine) are from women who have faced the devastating diagnosis of oc and are living with the aftermath. Some considerably younger than 66 who have suffered from a medically induced menopause.

    Of course we would say have your ovaries removed and there are many of us whose symptoms were ignored for far to long and wish that our concerns had been taken seriously before the disease had taken hold.

    Whatever you decide I wish you good health.

  • I am one of the support line nurses at Ovacome. Although an MRI scan may give you some idea of what the cyst the only way of being completely sure is by having it removed

    I appreciate your concerns about the implications of this as far as heart disease but the main evidence regarding an increased risk of heart disease is confined to premenopasual women. As regards your concerns about smoking; although it may take a while for the risk of heart disease to come back to normal, the risk of continuing to smoke is likely to increase especially with increasing age. Do keep trying to stop and enlist the help of your practice nurse and GP as smoking is the biggest risk to your health. If you would like to discuss this further please do give Ovacome a ring on 08453710554 Mon- Fri 10-5.

  • Thank you very much. I have tried and tried to give up smoking by hypnotherapy (twice), acupuncture, all the smoking devices even an electronic cigarette, to no avail. I don't appear to be addicted to nicotine because I hate the taste of it (electronic cigarettes) so it must be the chemicals which are worse. Have even tried herbal cigarettes but they are even more revolting.

    I spoke to the gynaecologist yesterday who told me that the cyst wasn't noticeable on the scan but my ovary had enlarged. I wondered if this had been hidden by the fibroids but forgot to ask. She also said to have another scan and blood test in about 6 weeks and if the ovary was still enlarged then have it removed. This morning I received a date for removal so we seem to have our wires crossed somewhere.

    Many thanks

    Diana

  • I'm 12 years old and I have had my left ovary removed because it was the size of my fist and had 50 cysts inside of them.

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