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Anyone had any experience of ovarian cancer?

(28 Posts)
MepsiPax Sun 24-Sep-17 18:07:35

Hi all. I really hope I'm worrying about nothing here,but has anyone out there had experience of ovarian cancer,either personally,or with someone close to them? I've been experiencing vague symptoms for about 7 weeks now. A slight loss of appetite,feeling full quicker when I eat,and feeling bloated/gassy,a change in bowel habits (getting constipated now and again which I've never had before,then the next day having diarrhoea) constantly tired no matter how much I sleep,and a pain in my lower back which seems to radiate through to the front in my pelvic area. This pain seems worse at night,just before I go to bed. It's a bit like a bad period pain. I'm 54,think I've gone through the menopause (I say think,not 100% certain as I've had a Mirena IUS for many years so not had a period for 12 years. I'm due to have this last one removed in a couple of months). I have made an appointment to see my doctor about all these symptoms but it's not for 4 weeks! Standard waiting time at my surgery is 2 -3 weeks but my usual (favourite) GP is on holiday,hence the longer wait. Anyone got any words of advice,or stories of their own experiences? Thanks for reading.

chaplin1409 Sun 24-Sep-17 18:12:54

If you are concerned please phone doctors and insist of an appointment asap even if it's an classed as an emergency appointment. I don't want to scare you and most likely it will not be cancer but my mum ignored her symptoms and when she was seen it was too late and sadly 2 months after being told she had cancer she passed away. She was only 53.
Please don't be fobbed off if concerned insist they refer you for a scan.

MepsiPax Sun 24-Sep-17 18:17:54

Chaplin - thanks for your quick response. I will phone tomorrow and try and push for a quicker appointment. But I'm not holding my breath. Trying to get an appointment at my surgery is hard enough at the best of times,even if it's not urgent. Unfortunately,the receptionists take the attitude that unless you are practically on your death bed,it's not an emergency.

specialsubject Sun 24-Sep-17 18:21:46

Very very much hope it is something else - but if it is ovarian cancer you need treatment asap. Mention all these issues and insist you need an urgent referral.

The very best to you.

TwitterQueen1 Sun 24-Sep-17 18:22:58

Unfortunately, yes OP. My current story is here

PM if you would like, though I've got to put the PC on charge for a bit.

SolidarityGdansk Sun 24-Sep-17 18:26:09

Camp out in the surgery until they agree to see you.

If it is cancer - the quicker you get seen to and treated the better your chances. So don't be fobbed off by the receptionists.

Good luck and hope there is some other explanation for your symptoms.

VanillaSugar Sun 24-Sep-17 18:29:20

Please kick ass as I know a lovely lady who was fobbed off with "women's pains" and she died within 4 months.

In a lighthearted way, I hope it's trapped wind flowers

Oraiste Sun 24-Sep-17 18:38:13

Echoing everyone else. See a doctor. Spell it out to the receptionists if necessary and if they are still saying not possible as for their name. I know there are procedures within the practice for them to follow, but they aren't medically trained. Hopefully it's nothing but best to find out.

Fairylea Sun 24-Sep-17 18:44:03

Agree with the others that you absolutely cannot wait 4 weeks. Ring tomorrow and say it's an emergency and you need to see someone the same day. Failing that I would actually go to a and e and tell them about the pain you are having and they should be able to tell you what's going on. I know others will disagree but I really don't think you should be waiting so long to see someone.

MepsiPax Sun 24-Sep-17 18:50:34

Thank you to everyone for your responses. I am quite overwhelmed with your kindness and concern. I will do my utmost to try to secure a quicker appointment tomorrow. My question now is this:- Do I say anything to my (adult) DD about any of this? I've not breathed a word to her so far about any of it. She is married with a 11 year old DD of her own and works PT so has a her hands full somewhat,and I don't want to worry her unnecessarily. My instinct is to keep quiet until I have anything,one way or another to report. What would YOU do?

Piffpaffpoff Sun 24-Sep-17 18:57:16

If your instinct is to keep quiet then I'd go with that for now. This is very much how we are across our family, nothing gets 'announced' til there's a diagnosis and sometimes after treatment has finished! Appreciate that that might not work for everyone though.

Best of luck to you, hope you get to the bottom of things soon.

Fairylea Sun 24-Sep-17 19:02:39

I think it depends on your relationship with your daughter. My mum and I are very close and mention every little thing that worries us and we usually email every day and see each other 3 times a week so if either of us was going through similar and didn't mention it the other would probably be very confused and hurt they felt they couldn't share. But it completely depends on your own set up.

SolidarityGdansk Sun 24-Sep-17 19:04:52

I wouldn't say anything to adult daughter now. But if you get a referred to a consultant, then you need to think about someone to take with you.

My mother had endometrial cancer and I went to all her consultant apppointmemts (but not to tests or all chemo).

You need another pair of ears to listen to the consultant and ask questions - it may be a bit overwhelming and you may not take it all in on your own. So I would really strongly advise that you don't go alone.

BuzzKillington Sun 24-Sep-17 19:11:00

The thing is, everyone's symptoms can be different. The standard signs don't apply to everyone.

My friend has had ovarian cancer. Her only symptom was pins and needles in one leg. (She has recently celebrated 10 years clear btw)

Anyway - get checked out asap. If it were me, I'd avoid worrying your daughter at this stage, because chances are - you don't have cancer.

SignoraStronza Sun 24-Sep-17 19:16:00

I think you need to make an appointment with the first available GP, rather than wait for your preferred one. I didn't care that the only appointment they could offer was with a male gp when I experienced symptoms. USS appointment and bloods done following week, then a 2 week wait referral based on the USS results, which meant I saw the gynaecologist another week later. Now doing the 'conservative approach', so another USS then gynae appt six weeks from then to see if it's grown. I'm trying not to think about it too much. Gynae was opining to his med students that of course the USS shows up so much more these days and of course they have to investigate it all. Well sorry for the inconvenience!🤣

MepsiPax Sun 24-Sep-17 19:17:15

I am not going to say anything to my DD yet. I will try and get a quicker appointment,then see what the doctor says. If I get referred to a consultant,or for a scan,then I will tell her. We ARE very close,so she will probably be put out that I didn't mention my concerns to her earlier,but she will understand why I didn't.

StewPots Sun 24-Sep-17 19:25:35

Echoing PPs OP with saying please see a GP and don't be fobbed off.

I lost one of my friends to ovarian cancer at 34. She'd been having back pains for months...they sent her to a chiropractor!! Fobbed her off with smears that didn't show anything rather than give her an MRI...She was in agony but it all came out after she collapsed and was rushed to hospital. They scanned her right away. Her kidneys were failing, and she had Stage 4 ovarian cancer. She sadly died 2 months after the diagnosis.

My friends mum was also diagnosed at 44 with the same. It was too late for her as well. She passed away 4 months after diagnosis after also being sent away with this and that.

I'm sorry if my post has scared you, I just hate to see women fobbed off time and again by GPs and then it's too late for treatment. So please absolutely insist, get as informed as you can about your symptoms and ovarian cancer and do t take no for an answer. Change GP if necessary.

I hope you get it all sorted flowers

RandomMess Sun 24-Sep-17 19:40:27

Utterly agree about being insistent on urgent appt and urgent referral!!!

I hope it's a false alarm flowers

Chilver Sun 24-Sep-17 19:47:31

Hi, unfortunately I have had personal experience.

Push for an appointment asap. If it helps, follow the BEAT symptom tracker to help you persuade the doctors.

I was fobbed off for months, then they did some tests, told me I had cancer, and then told me they wouldn't see me for another 6 weeks (because the referal form title was filled out incorrectly!!). Luckily, my husband pushed me to go private and i was seen that day - 6 weeks later, I would have been dead if I'd waited for the NHS appointment...

I am now cancer free smile

Sugarpiehoneyeye Sun 24-Sep-17 19:56:05

@MepsiPax, these can also be symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
Try not to worry too much, I recently saw my GP, feeling similar to you.
There are other things that it could be.
Thinking of you, sending you strength, and hoping for a good outcome.🌺

jostanford Tue 26-Sep-17 10:05:44

Hi MepsiPax,
I work for Ovarian Cancer Action which is an ovarian cancer research and awareness charity, and I also lost my mum to OC so it's very close to my heart.

The main symptoms of OC are:
•Persistent stomach pain
•Persistent bloating
•Difficulty eating/feeling full more quickly
•Needing to wee more frequently

The key thing here is that we all have some of these, some of the time, and they can be symptoms of less serious, conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, ovarian cysts and polycystic ovary syndrome (Though it's important to note that it's unlikely that a woman in her 50s would suddenly get irritable bowel syndrome). The main thing is if they are persistent, severe, frequent and out of the ordinary for you, you want to get checked out.

First off, don't panic. The fact that you've spotted that something isn't right for you means you're going to get this looked at which is exactly what you should do.

What I would do is ring the GP and ask for an earlier appointment. Ask if they have emergency appointments if you need to. If you don't get anywhere with that, you could consider going to a local walk in centre:

We've got a guide here all about tracking your symptoms and what happens next:

It's useful to have a record of your symptoms so that there is no debate over what you're experiencing- you can do this on paper or on the free app that's on the link.

If you have any questions you can always give us a call (if you follow the "what happens next?" link above you'll find all the details).

Let us know how you get on x

VanillaSugar Tue 26-Sep-17 10:07:58

Thank you jo - that's a great link. Keep up the good work and sorry to hear about your mum flowers

MepsiPax Tue 26-Sep-17 19:36:51

Thanks everyone for your advice and support. I phoned my GP's surgery yesterday morning and after a bit of quizzing by the receptionist as to why it was important that I get a quicker appointment,I managed to get one for Tuesday next week. Unfortunately it's not with my usual doctor but with one of the others at the practice. I'm just hoping that he takes me seriously this time. When I saw him about a year ago about my fibromyalgia flaring up,he more or less dismissed it as it being my own fault because I'm overweight! hmm This is why I wanted to see my usual doctor. Anyway, I will let you know what happens.

MepsiPax Tue 26-Sep-17 19:38:25

jostanford - thank you for the useful link. And sorry about your mum.

burntoutmum Tue 26-Sep-17 19:49:23

A week Tuesday?! Is that a emergency appointment at your surgery? shock

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