Not sure if I'm over-reacting!

I am 55 and still having regular periods; the first 2 days of which are heavy but then things calm down. I was found to have anemia last year and was prescribed iron and put it down to possibly the heavy bleeding during my period after discussion with my GP. Before Christmas last year I had my usual period and stopped and then started 2 days later with a v. heavy period lasting for 10 days. On the advice of NHS Direct, I went to my GP and she examined me and said she couldn't feel anything and said it could be the beginning of the menopause but they may need to consider an ultrasound. In the New Year, I went to see my GP about continuing the iron tablets as I found they helped my 'restless legs'! While we were discussing this, she mentioned my heavy periods and the fact that I was still menstruating and seemed to be no sign of menopause. So, I think for her peace of mind (I wasn't really that concerned about it) she decided to send me for an ultrasound, both outside and transvaginal. I was found to have a grapefruit size fibroid which I naturally assumed was what was causing the heavy bleeding but then other symptoms I had been experiencing made me wonder if it had all been down to the fibroid: frequent urination, hesitancy on urinating and not completely emptying my bladder; chronic indigestion and feeling full v. quickly when I did eat and looking as if I was pregnant (a v. bloated abdomen). Anyway, I was referred to a gynae. clinic assuming I was going to discuss what options I had to have the fibroid removed. I saw a lovely male registrar and explained my symptoms. He decided to refer me for an hystosocopy as he said that an ultrasound isn't too detailed so they'd like to take some biopsies. My first worry is I could have uterine cancer (have had no children and unopposed oestrogen and late menopause) but then I thought perhaps it could be ovarian cancer - not sure whether an ultrasound would have picked up any enlarged ovaries? My bloatedness could point to this.

Sorry about this waffly question but am worried and not sure whether I'm worrying unecessarily.

7 Replies

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  • Hi Betsy,

    The symptoms of ovarian cancer are notoriously subjective, and difficult to spot. I had stage 3c 2.5 yrs ago, and the symptoms I thought must have been due to it (backache, etc) were not cured by the surgery or remission. From what you say, it seems likely that your symptoms are due to your fibroid, but worth making sure they are looking for any tumour - just to be on the safe side. My oncologist says that, to diagnose o.c. he needs a physical exam, bloods and a CT scan .

    I hope it turns out well for you.

    Isadora.

  • Hi Betsy. Have you tried the BEAT symptom tracker on the Ovacome website? It may give your doctor more info. It sounds as if they are investigating it all properly though. Your symptoms sound remarkably like mine were, and I had ovarian cancer in 2002. However, there may be other causes so don't panic. You are doing the right thing by asking questions and getting all the investigations done early. If caught early, even if it is oc, you have an excellent recovery chance.

    All the best

    Wendy xx

  • Thank you Isadora and Wendy for your prompt responses. You seem to both be saying that the medics are doing the right investigations. Sounds odd I know but I am pleased that I'm having further investigation...just for peace of mind really. I am v. grateful to my GP for insisting on the ultrasound - I wouldn't have bothered and would've just put the symptoms down to perimenopause. I am relieved Wendy when you say that if it is OC then being caught early, recovery chance is good - you're proof of that! I understand that if it's womb cancer then my recovery chance is also good. I'm just trying to be positive whichever way it goes but it's good to speak with people who have been through the 'experience'. xxBetsy

  • Betsy - I am a year older than you. If my gp had done the right thing when he read my pospmenopausal ultrasound I would have been diagnosed stage 1. (3 years ago). Meanwhile I am a disease free survivor of stage3c OC with grade 3 cells. So far at least (18 months).

    You should go straight to your gp and I expect he will ask now many children you have had (I've had none) and also if you're using HRT. I did, for six years, and the effects of the seventh precritpion caused sire pain, bleeding, a trip to A&E etc. I was checked out for everything cancer wise but not ovarian.

    So I,d suggest you ask your sp for an urgent gynae referral and ask him if he can do a CA125, because you are worried about ovarian cancer.

  • P.S. Betsy - I am sure you are not overreacting - you sound so curiously like me.

    As I said as for a CA125 and onc- gynae referall urgently. Thanks Chrissie xxx

  • Betsy has been referred to gynae and is waiting on the results of a biopsy

  • Betsy I think your anxiety is natural but you won't know the outcome until they get the results of the biopsy. Waiting is awful so try and do things you enjoy to take your mind off it. I've found it helpful just to focus on one procedure at a time and concentrate on getting through that. It also helps to have a rant on here sometimes

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