Advanced search

Mumsnet hasn't checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you have medical concerns, please seek medical attention; if you think your problem could be acute, do so immediately. Even qualified doctors can't diagnose over the internet, so do bear that in mind when seeking or giving advice.

Ovarian cancer

(28 Posts)
madeit Tue 21-May-13 21:26:05

Ovarian cancer kills a lot of woman simply (often) because diagnosis is made late. If caught at the earlier stages it is often curable. I have had it I know. So if you have abdominal pains, or any uneasiness about abdominal feelings, bloating, feeling full quickly, ovarian cysts picked up in pregnancy insist that you are checked out. Ask your doctor for a CA125 blood test. It is not perfect but it has a reasonable chance of raising the alarm. If your GP refuses to give you one get one done privately or go to another doctor. If you are an older woman and your doctor says you must have irritable bowel syndrome don't accept this without medical evidence. Very few woman develop IBS later in life all of a sudden. If you are are checked out for IBS and told all is well ask for a CA125 blood test.
A lot of doctors are fairly ignorant about ovarian cancer.
Ovarian cancer is not given the publicity of some other cancers. Angelina Jolie's decision to go public on her health issues is great. Unfortunately some media outlets failed to do their homework. Her mother did not die of breast cancer it was ovarian cancer.
I don't want any woman going through the hell I went through and it makes me furious that it is so rarely given the publicity it should have. It's a killer. So if my ranting saves one woman that's enough for me. Get a blood test and if you are unhappy about abdominal pains of any description get it checked.

ajandjjmum Tue 21-May-13 21:28:55

I have a friend who was treated for ovarian cancer a couple of years ago - she is now well. It took an awfully long time to diagnose.

Glad you have recovered.

WildThongsHeartString Tue 21-May-13 21:36:23

Rant away, I lost my DS a couple of years ago, she had no chance as she had been getting treated for IBS so it was diagnosed too late. 12 short weeks between going into hospital with stomach pains and passing away. Horrifying. Will never forget how awful it was for her.

MoreBeta Tue 21-May-13 21:47:48

A good post. Too many young women die simply because they get diagnosed too late even though they have symptoms for years.

DW had ovarian cancer had survived because by a complete stroke of luck we found out in time and she was treated. We only found out because she was having trouble conceiving. Routine laparoscopy came up with the shock diagnosis

Coincidentally, I heard today of a young woman who died of ovarian cancer a few days ago and she had trouble conceiving for a number of years.

I dont want to frighten people but trouble conceiving plus IBS symptoms should be checked with a laporoscopy in my view.

Casusbelli Wed 22-May-13 08:56:20


I went to the gp a few weeks ago thinking it was time for more iron tablets (I'm 48 and my iron has dipped in the past) and although my iron was a bit low at 9 it was my oestrogen level which worried him. I had been having waves of nausea which I put down to hormonal fluctuations. He said I needed a scan.

The scan showed a 4.7 cyst with one septation.the other ovary couldn't be seen. The only symptoms I had been having were tiredness and the nausea on occasion. The radiologist said I should see a gynaecologist. More blood was taken, including the ca125. My period had started when the blood was taken.

I am seeing a gynae/ oncologist this morning and I am worried sick. He will have the blood results. I've had lower pelvic pain since I was told about the cyst!
also, I'm worried that I'm too fat for surgery....I've always had a roll of stomach fat and I don't see how they will sew it up
Has anyone else had similar problems or worries?

Weegiemum Wed 22-May-13 09:01:14

Also this.

I developed numbness in my hands, feet and face. About the 3rd thing they tested for (after brain tumour and ms) was ovarian cancer, as it can cause these symptoms. I had some specialist blood tests (for paraneoplastic syndrome) and several specialist scans.

I don't have it - my condition turned out to be an immunological neurological problem.

But these can be the first symptoms, so please take them seriously!

Sugarice Wed 22-May-13 09:05:36

I'm passionate about ovarian cancer and the symtoms being highlighted more.

I had a hysterectomy with everything removed late last year due to Endo and ovarian cysts. Everything was fine but until I was in the position of worrying that I may have had cancer I had no idea what the symtoms were and how it creeps up so silently.

I'm 45 and my child bearing years were behind me, I couldn't wait to get rid of my reproductive organs to be honest, the relief was immense.

Sugarice Wed 22-May-13 09:07:33

Casusbelli Thinking of you this morning x

ajandjjmum Wed 22-May-13 09:14:05

Hope it goes well this morning.

Casusbelli Wed 22-May-13 13:07:46


Thank- you for your thoughts.

I'm back and I thought I'd update you. My CA 125 was normal ( I didn't ask for number). The transvaginal scan was done and the consultant said he thought it was a functional cyst and not particularly large. He said it could have happened because of hormone surges. He also told me not to worry about the 'sky high' oestrogen that the GP had noted as they only worry about oestrogen in terms of getting pregnant and that it varies from day to day.

He said they would repeat the bloods and the scan in 3 months and then think about keyhole to remove it if necessary.

I am relieved but also very conscious of all those who don't get such reassurance. The symptoms of ovarian cancer are so vague that many women must ignore them as we are so used to putting others first

Sugarice Wed 22-May-13 13:31:16

I'm glad that your scan went ok.

I was monitored with three monthly scans and blood tests, it was doing this that noted that one cyst was getting bigger with each appointment. I'm so thankful that I had a fab GP and a brilliant gynaecologist.

digerd Wed 22-May-13 16:17:06

I know of a woman who had pain and GP told her it was period pains/ovulation pains.

It got so bad and her tummy swelled to looking 6 months pregnant - she had Ovarian Cancer diagnosed at A&E.

Statistics a few years ago were that only 25% are diagnosed early enough to be even treated.

A scan on a full bladder can usually detect a lump on the ovary, but the majority are benign cysts.

digerd Wed 22-May-13 16:19:11

ps she was 37 at the time.

VerySmallSqueak Wed 22-May-13 16:30:02

I went to the gp for something entirely different and happened to mention odd right- sided pains.
I was immediately referred for an ultrasound scan which showed a cyst.
A follow up scan showed the cyst was still there.
I had a CA125 blood test and laparoscopic surgery to remove the cyst.
The consultant seemed quite sure afterwards that it was a simple cyst (although it ruptured during surgery).

I was absolutely amazed at the treatment I received - not only the gps' action on my casual mentioning of symptoms,but also the extremely rapid treatment I received.
It was a little unnerving at the time,but it is so heartening to see that the message is getting through,and hopefully early detection rates will improve dramatically if other women receive the same exceptional care that I did.

MrsKwazii Wed 22-May-13 16:46:52

Just to add that ovarian and breast cancers are genetically linked - which was news to me when I read it in the Angelina Jolie coverage. Having had close relatives with both types of cancer I may be at greater risk of developing these cancers too. There is some good info on this at the Macmillan Cancer site, including a risk checker called OPERA that you can fill out and discuss with your GP. I hope that all of you undergoing treatment on the thread have good outcomes.

bulletproofgerbil Wed 22-May-13 17:05:16

Thank you for this. Appreciated. flowers

Hugsandkisses Thu 23-May-13 21:16:56

My friends sister is having chemo due to ovarian cancer. She is only 29 also diagnosed late, because the stupid Dr kept fobbing her of with IBS, they had to give her an hysterectomy because it had spread.

galwaygirl Thu 23-May-13 21:26:00

My cousin died from ovarian cancer aged 24, she had emigrated to the US and her GP asked her at her medical if she could be pregnant but didn't investigate it further. The cyst was about 9lbs when it was finally detected and removed. That was in the late 90s and things don't seem to have improved that much since. It never seems to get much attention. I think you're right to be angry - it needs to be more highly publicised.

madeit Sun 26-May-13 20:42:15

Can anyone suggest where i might start a thread about ovarian cancer so that the message gets to a wide audience?

BackforGood Sun 26-May-13 20:48:42

'Chat' gets the most readers I think - more than here anyway.
Thanks for trying to raise awareness.
We lost my Mum to Ovarian Cancer, and now my colleague is in a bad way. Like others - she was diagnosed after she'd been going to her Dr for some months with symptoms he never related to Ovarian Cancer. Now they've found it, it's predicted it will be too late to cure it sad.

TigerseyeMum Sun 26-May-13 23:43:48

Here here - I haven't had it but for a while it was scary, turned out I had a huge endo cyst and stage VI endo, I had emergency surgery and the cyst was benign.

Now though my ovary is embedded in my bowel, I get swelling and IBS and excruciating pain and will have an op in 4 months...I get so twitchy when the pain is bad because I worry that it could be something more and they won't know until they operate.

I am always banging on about ovarian cancer and most women have no idea. Gynae and IBS issues are rarely taken seriously.

GW297 Mon 27-May-13 00:04:09

Did anyone experience bleeding as one of the symptoms? I have had a blood test as I also have a cyst on one of my ovaries and am assuming it was to rule out ovarian cancer.

madeit Mon 27-May-13 05:49:09

Thanks will put a thread on chat.

frostyfingers Mon 27-May-13 10:37:22

I have had a period/bleed since mid March, bar 7 days & 4 days. As I'm approaching 50 put it down to pre menopause changes but decided to go to the doctor just in case. She tells me that it's unlikely to be menopause related and has blood tested for iron deficiency and booked me in for a scan (next week) - when she pressed my pelvic area I had some pain on the right hand side.

I'm trying very hard to be calm and not leap to conclusions, but I have to say do find it quite difficult. I know in all probability it will either be nothing or possibly a cyst, but in the meantime spend too long thinking dark thoughts.

YouStayClassySanDiego Mon 27-May-13 14:42:52

frosty try not to worry too much.

Your symtoms sound like mine, it turned out after scans, blood tests and other procedures I had severe Endo and ovarian cysts.

My GP also did an internal at my initial appointment and said my cervix felt bulky, I was convinced it was going to be the worst news.

Stay calm, difficult as it is.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: