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ovarian cyst

(18 Posts)
angelmumsy Sat 13-Oct-12 01:56:38

Recently, I was diagnosed with dermoid cyst on my left ovary and adenomyosis in my womb. 10 yrs ago, I had endometriosis cyst on my right ovary removed. My gynea told me that I have to removed both of my ovaries & womb since my age is already 49 and that I won't be needing any of those which I could save myself from other cancerous cells in future. He mentioned that if I were to keep the right ovary, chances of the cell develope in future is there and might turn cancerous. I don't mind removing my womb but wondering whether should I remove both of my ovaries or just the infected one. If the infected left ovary has to be removed, should I just kept the right ovary for hormone purposes. I read some article saying that there's no research shown that by keeping the ovaries, cancer cells will appear in future. I'm really at a lost and hope someone with similar problem could advise me.

Bellaciao Sat 13-Oct-12 19:47:59

Sorry to hear about your gynae problems anglemumsy.
Personally I would try to keep an ovary if possible for hormone purposes unless you are at very high risk of cancer. I presume in view of your history you could be monitored regularly in the remaining ovary?
Sorry I can't speak from experience of a similar problem but that is just my point of view in principle.

ToothbrushThief Sat 13-Oct-12 19:51:04

I'd let them take both! Your age suggests that hormones will dwindle anyway. It's not uncommon for ovaries to stop after a hysterectomy. So you'd be keeping an item which might serve no purpose.. Ovaries are also known for being symptomless when cancerous.

MissBoPeep Sun 14-Oct-12 11:29:32

You are entitled to a 2nd opinion under the NHS- and as many other opinions from any gynae if you pay and get a drs referral.

I would not do anything until you have had at least one more opinion and ideally two- I am constantly amazed at how different consultants have different views, and how many are out of touch.

I had a benign ovarian cyst and my gynae followed a " watchful waiting" regime- scanned every 3-4 months. Eventually it went away. He said that he was 98% sure it was benign. In time he said it was def not cancerous.

He also told me that cysts can turn cancerous- they either are, or are not.

None of the treatment you have had so far is for cancer- you have had endo and a dermoid cyst.

I cannot see why the dr wants to carry out such a radical operation- it's a bit like a woman being offered a mastectomy because she has benign breast cysts (though sometimes benign there can mean more at risk from malignant.)

I think this sounds draconian. Ovarian cysts are very common as is endo.

It is not true that you do not need your ovaries after meno- they continue to produce a small amount of estrogen right into your 70s and 80s, and also testosterone.

Toothbrush what you have said about ovaries being symtomless when cancerous is not correct. Ovarian cancer always has symptoms- a cyst- and when more advanced, other symptoms caused by the tumour pressing on other organs. It can be over looked, and if women ignore vague symptms they may not be diagnosed until too late, but it's not right to say there are no signs of ovarian cancer.

OP- I'd ask your GP for another referral.

MissBoPeep Sun 14-Oct-12 11:30:55

*He also told me that cysts can turn cancerous-

That should have read cannot turn.

ToothbrushThief Sun 14-Oct-12 15:45:54

Actually dermoid cysts can turn cancerous. Your Dr may have been talking about functional cysts which are a different pathology.

Majority are benign but there is a small chance of them becoming malignant.

-Ovarian dermoid cysts: These growths can develop in a woman during her reproductive years. They can cause torsion, infection, rupture, and cancer

You're right, my wording about being symptomless is wrong. I should have said early ovarian cancer is symptomless. Cysts are a finding with imaging rather than a symptom however. Ovarian cysts become symptomatic as they get bigger but by then ovarian cancer is usually advanced.

OP we can only give opinions here because obviously not everyone knows your full imaging and other details. I would happily lose my ovaries because mid forties mine were not working anyway and I've sadly seen ovarian cancer close up. It does depend on how you view the risk of cancer vs risk of poor health due to ovarian loss. My view is distorted by experience and I recognise that.

MissboPeep Sun 14-Oct-12 17:12:51

OP I'd suggest that you talk to someone at this charity which supports women with ovarian cancer.

MissboPeep Sun 14-Oct-12 17:18:07

OP there is a lot of info here- I hope you'll find it reassuring about the risk of cancer which is very rare.

A dermoid cyst usually occurs in the ovaries. Ovarian Dermoid cysts are usually found in women of childbearing age, from their 20s until about age 40, but can occur in women of any age. These complex cysts, which develop from totipotential germ cells, often contain tissue such as hair or teeth, or even bone tissue. Dermoid cysts can appear on the scalp, face, or neck and on either or both ovaries. They may need to be surgically removed when found on the ovaries if they cause severe pain or circumvent blood flow to the ovaries.

The dermoid or mature teratoma is a tumor on the ovaries that is benign. Dermoids are a fairly common occurrence. They very rarely are cancerous, and make up approximately 50% of all benign ovarian tumors. One or two percent of all dermoid cyst occurrences prove cancerous, with the majority of these being in women older than forty.

Cancerous dermoid cysts are referred to as immature teratomas. The development that occurs early on will determine if or not a dermoid cyst may become cancerous. Dermoid cysts are rarely ever cancerous, and can vary in its content, often known to contain hair, sweat glands, cartilage, and muscle fibers. There is slim to no chance that a dermoid cyst will turn into a cancerous cyst once there are hairs or other similar features that appear on it.

Dermoid cysts can be found on one or both ovaries. They usually can be detected during a pelvic examination. They are usually asymptomatic but can twist or rupture, causing severe pain in either the pelvic or abdominal area. Potential complications can be avoided by removing dermoid cysts that develop in ovaries. If the cyst is not removed and continues to develop, peritonitis may result, which is a painful irritation of the abdominal area.

angelmumsy Mon 15-Oct-12 04:08:48

My gp is very patient in answering all my questions. Like what MissBoPeep mentioned, I read about the ovaries will still continue to produce a small amount of estrogen right into your 70s and 80s, and also testosterone. That is what I'm wondering. But my gynea didn't think so. He said it will be useless once menopause. At one end, I read something else and on this end, he said it is untrue to a stage I'm unsure who to believe. He told me that once all my ovaries were removed, it will definitely effect my sexual life as I have no more libido. And if I don't have them remove, chances of cancer cells developing will be there. So I'm torn between to keep the ovaries or not once I have my womb remove.

MissboPeep Mon 15-Oct-12 09:05:53

This gynae sounds a monster! Would he be happy to have his testicles removed and lose all his sex drive if there wasn't a real, compelling need?

What do you think of my suggestion to ask to see another specialist? It is your right- and it's your body.

You need to know precisely what your cancer risk is, and whether it's any more than any women- we are all at risk from ovarian cancer- it's just how much that risk is that counts.

You could also take HRT if you did have your ovaries removed- and this gynae should be suggesting that to you. TBH he doesn't sound very caring.

cocolepew Mon 15-Oct-12 09:14:11

I had the same as you and had my womb and both ovaries removed 6 weeks ago. I was in utter agony and swollen to the size of an 8 month pregnancy.

THB I didn't see the point if keeping one ovary, there was every chance of developing more endo by keeping it. I'm 43 and will have to stay on hrt until I'm 51 to protect against oestoproisis (sp).

angelmumsy Fri 26-Oct-12 02:20:18

Thanks to all who have given their advised and suggestion. I've consulted 3 male gynaes so far and all of them told me that it is pointless to keep the ovaries as the cyst will return in matter of time. I think I should get a female gynae for an opinion. Probably as a woman, she will advise differently. Well, as at this stage, I experience uncomfortable and painful sex. Unsure if this is the caused of the cysts. To some of my friends that have undergo in removing both the ovaries that I have consulted, they told me that they regretted in doing so as it affect their sexual life. I'm worried about it. I plan to have my operation done in December and have yet to make any decision. Can anyone who have them remove all together both the ovaries and the womb advise me on how long it takes to recover, any problems thereafter and how was the sexual life?

cocolepew Fri 26-Oct-12 10:26:34

I'm not sure why you think a woman consultant would tell you any different tbh. The 3 drs have told you the same thing because its a medical fact, not because they are men.
I had both mine taken out, even though the cysts were only on one, but that was my choice. Mr dr had no problem doing it but its your choice whether you get one or both taken out. Even going in to theater he asked me if I wanted one or both out. They wont force you but they are teling you what will, probably, happen if you keep one.

The recovery has taken about 7 weeks to feel really good, but I was ill before hand so my helth wasn't great, it depend on the individual, anytime between 6 and 12 weeks is perfectly normal.

Sex life is better than it has been in a long time, no pain and feel soooo much better due to the hrt.


cocolepew Fri 26-Oct-12 10:30:11

I'm 44, I see you are 49 so you may not get hrt as routine as you are in the age bracket for the menopause anyway. But I'm sure you could ask to go on it if you wanted to.

MissBoPeep Fri 26-Oct-12 11:44:52

OP if you do decide to have everything removed, I hope you will ask for HRT!

Going from peri meno to full menopause overnight will give you terrible meno symptoms- it will be very different to the natural slow fall off over many years which women experience if they have a normal meno.

I do think there is something in what you say about some male drs being a little unsympathetic about this- would they have their testicles removed and just put up with the symptoms?

orangeflutie Sat 27-Oct-12 21:29:16

Hi I've recently had surgery to remove my left ovary as I have had recurrent cysts and endometriosis on that side. I'm still not entirely sure I've done the right thing as I only had the surgery last month, but I'm of the understanding that if that ovary has been removed I shouldn't get any more cysts. The remaining ovary should do the work of both hopefully so I am hoping I won't get menopausal symptoms yet.

In your case I'm not sure why exactly you have to have both ovaries removed. It does seem very drastic. I would do as much as you can to hang on to one of them.


angelmumsy Wed 28-Nov-12 00:19:01

My gynea suggested that I remove both ovaries as previously a cyst appear on my right ovary & had d cyst removed. Now after 10 yrs, a cyst appear on my left ovary. According to him, cyst will definitely appear again matter of time. Having to keep an ovary, according to him did not make any sense as I'm into menopause age in a couple of months or years. Very drastic decision indeed and confusing. He told me that at my age, I don't need hrt as in taking hrt is not good. It will cause other side effects and 1 of them is breast cancer. My question is if I'm not taking hrt after the op, will it effect my sexual life? Do I still feel as good as before?

MissBoPeep Wed 28-Nov-12 17:08:56

I'm going to try and not be rude because obviously what you have written is an account of what this man has told you.

First of all- it's your body and you have a right to full and unbiased information.

Second, it's actually quite callous of him to say that because you are menopause age you don't need your ovaries. They continue ot produce some hormones and testosterone right into old age- and these affect your sex drive.

Third, it is not right or indeed fair for him to refuse you HRT and plunge you into an immediate surgically induced menopause.

You will have - most likely- severe meno symptoms which may be physical and emotional.

My advice is as before- find another dr who treats you like an individual. HRT does not give all women cancer- if it did, it would be banned. The risk is actually very small.

If you want to read more about menopause and HRT and maybe ask questions on their forum, have a look at

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