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21 years old with Ovarian Cancer?
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21 years old with Ovarian Cancer?

Hello Ladies! Google searches have lead me to this website, and I'm pretty concerned. About a month ago, I went to the local ER for abdominal and back pain. They did an ultrasound and found a 15cm cyst on my left ovary. I followed up with my GYN and he wasn't very concerned, but he did want to remove it. Since then, the pain has been more constant and intense, so I returned to the ER hoping they would admit me and remove the cyst. They discharged me and were not concerned. I then went to another ER because I could not handle the pain. The doctor there told me all my symptoms sounded like G.I. problems. Although I have been having some G.I. issues, I know this pain is not related. So she sent me for a CT scan, they discovered an 8cm complex cyst on my right ovary. My question is, should I be concerned, seeing as I'm only 21? The cyst wasn't there a month ago. Cancer has ripped through both sides of my family, so naturally I'm terrified. I have a 2 year old daughter, and the symptoms started soon after I gave birth to her. Every time I go to the doctor, they tell me something else is wrong, and never seem worried. It's frustrating and I just want answers.
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187666_tn?1331176945
First of all, your gyn shouldn't be dragging his feet about this 15 cm cyst. It can be painful and the sheer size and weight of it can cause a possible torsion of the fallopian tube. I do hope he has surgery scheduled soon to remove it. The other 8 cm cyst on the other ovary should be removed and checked as well. Normally doctors consider surgery on things over 5 cm.

Being a complex cyst doesn't mean it is cancer but it should be removed and tested. Having a family history of cancer is important for the doctors to know and they should take it seriously.

I'm so tired of doctors telling us that everything is either bowel related or anxiety. If your doctor is not interested in checking this further, please get a different doctor.
15 Comments
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187666_tn?1331176945
First of all, your gyn shouldn't be dragging his feet about this 15 cm cyst. It can be painful and the sheer size and weight of it can cause a possible torsion of the fallopian tube. I do hope he has surgery scheduled soon to remove it. The other 8 cm cyst on the other ovary should be removed and checked as well. Normally doctors consider surgery on things over 5 cm.

Being a complex cyst doesn't mean it is cancer but it should be removed and tested. Having a family history of cancer is important for the doctors to know and they should take it seriously.

I'm so tired of doctors telling us that everything is either bowel related or anxiety. If your doctor is not interested in checking this further, please get a different doctor.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you so much. I feel a little relieved knowing that it does not mean cancer, and also knowing I'm not the only person frustrated with doctors. I feel like they see us as paying customers instead of patients that need treatment anymore... After I posted this, I saw another GYN, and he was very concerned. I have an MRI on Wednesday so he knows what exactly he has on his plate once he cuts me open. We will discuss the results of the MRI on Thursday, and operate on Friday! Just the stress of not knowing what was going on is taking a toll on me. Such a relief to know the discomfort will be coming to an end soon. Now I suppose the real anxiety will be waiting for the results AFTER the surgery...
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187666_tn?1331176945
Waiting is so difficult but is made even worse when a doctor won't take it seriously. I'm so happy you went to another doctor. Surgery is never fun but it's better to remove the cysts so you can move forward and not live in fear all the time.

A complex cyst is worrisome, more so than a simple fluid filled cyst. But there are other things that can cause a complex cyst.  Over 90% of all cysts are benign. Those are good odds for us all. I had a 10 cm cyst removed. My doctor made sure there was an oncologist on hand during the surgery. That wasn't the news I wanted to hear but my doctor was being cautious and wanted only the best for me if things did show up as cancer. I was also in the 90% and everything worked out just great. I hope your news is just as wonderful.
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Avatar_f_tn
I don't mean to scare you but I am 32 and recently told I have stage 3 ovarian cancer. I was going to the doctors for about 7 months complaining of constipation that wouldn't get better w/anything I did. They felt this large mass in my lower left side of my abdomen and kept telling me it was stool. I was so scared to go to the ER because I had gone before and was treated like I was being a baby. I finally went to another hospital and had this amazing female doctor who felt my stomach and said "Hmmm that doesn't feel like stool" She ordered a ct scan and it came back with cystic tumors wrapped in my intestines. They had me meet w/ an Gyn Oncologist a couple days later he didn't think it was cancer because of my age. He performed the surgery 2 days later and when I woke up to my husband at my bed side I asked him "Is it cancer"? He nodded his head yes. I had a complete hysterectomy, appendix removed, and a large portion of my colon removed. They placed a IP Port under my breast to administer the chemo I stayed in the hospital for 7 days in intense pain. That was in May I have since lost all my hair, had 4 treatments and was given a 15% chance of living past 5 yrs. I was so pissed because if the doctors had taken me serious before It would not have been so advanced, but I thank God for that ER doctor who took the time to figure out what was going on. I pray that yours is not cancer, but don't wait on the doctors push them to take you serious!!!!! Good luck to you
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Avatar_m_tn
I'm so sorry about your diagnosis, copeland.  Take care.  
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Avatar_f_tn
I am so sorry to hear that. I was also told that my pain was being cause by constipation and stomach issues. I had surgery on Tuesday and I was told it did not look to be cancer. The relief I felt was amazing, seeing as I had an aunt that died at 23 from ovarian cancer. I will meet with my doctor on Friday to discuss the results. Best of luck to you.
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187666_tn?1331176945
I'm so excited and happy for you. First of all that the cyst is removed and you will feel better. Second that the initial diagnosis is probably not cancer. Yes, they have to take it to pathology and check it more closely. But if they do find a few bad cells, at least they caught it early and the ability to cure it is so much better.

Take time to rest now and celebrate in a quiet way. You can dance later.
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3132895_tn?1343624722
It is very important that you make an appointment to see a doctor specializing in your needs. I would recommend a female Gynecologist, because they tend to be more receptive and have an excellent bedside manner. No offense to the guys.

When I went to see my Gynecologist on Friday, she ended up ordering a plethora of labs, a CT Scan and a chest x-ray. I didn't have to ask her to do any of it, because she was on top of everything. After all was said and done, it was later determined that my huge belly is due to a very large tumor measuring 30cmx30cmx20cm. I go to see my new Oncologist on Tuesday. They did find elevated amounts of cancer cells in my pap and rectal smear results.

I advise you NOT to go to the emergency room for this any more! They have clearly proven they are inefficient in your case, and you can't wait for them to get their proverbial heads out of their proverbial arsses. Go to your local hospital's websites, look up Gynecologists, scan through and see if you find a face that offers you a sense of calm and trust. You could also ask your friends locally, your friends' Moms, even your Mom and your Mom's friends (provided you live in the same area) who their Gynos are, and if they'd recommend them. Then, go to healthgrade(dot)com and look them up by name. That's how I found my Gynecologist, and she came highly recommended, and now I know why. That website grades doctors and hospitals based upon several factors, including the surveys taken by their patients.

As you see from Copeland's story, waiting on the inefficiency of ER's and doctors who think you're making it all up, could cost you. Best of luck to you, doll...please don't wait, you're worth another look, okay?
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155056_tn?1333642288
Female or male does not make a difference when it comes to a good GYN...I have been seen by both male and female, and have found good and not so good in each.  At times I have found a female to be less sympathic, especially when it came to issues like cramps, bleeding, inc...guess if she doesn't have  a hard time with her period, there is no sympathy or understand.

The important thing is that  you find a doctor that is board certified and that you feel comfortable with.  Someone that you can talk to.  It's not a bad idea to look  up on the internet, but, remember not everyone has a great experience with every doctor and because you read something negative about a doctor, we don't always know the full story...look for a trend of good or negative reports.

WidowRose - I am glad that you are going to a oncologist because the gyn does not seem to be providing proper information.  Ovarian cancer cells cannot be found in a pap test.  Pap tests only text cervical cells.  Also rectal smears, I will tell you that I have never heard of this either.  There is only one way to confirm and test for ovarian cancer and that is through a biopsy.  
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136849_tn?1327325110
The other thing I really get tired of is when a doctor "boo hoos" any chance of cancer (and I have not saying you or any of you ladies have cancer) because of your age.  Cancer does not discriminate due to age.  You need to be your own advocate, you know when something isn't right and I am sorry these size cyst on your ovaries are not right and you need to see a gyn/oncologist.  Male or Female, they are all different.  I just read BeeMamaz and they said it doesn't appear to be cancer, which is great.  Final pathology will determine everything.  Good Luck to you
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Avatar_m_tn
I found out in early June I had ovarian cancer, I did have surgery which came out fine, I am now doing my chemo treatments but will be fine, the only things is the side effects I have everyone of them the worst is the achy legs at night I end of sitting up to at least till 6 or 7 am not much sleep
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Avatar_f_tn
Hello Ladies! Thank you all for your responses, advice, and support! I met with my GYN on Friday to discuss the results from pathology. I was told there were no cancer cells, which is the biggest relief I have ever felt in my life! But he was concerned about the type of cyst. I was told it was a mucinous cystadenoma...? He told me to follow up and make sure I get check-ups regularly as this condition can return or form in my appendix and bowels and can become very aggressive...I can not seem to find any information confirming this, so I'm not quite sure what to think now!
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Avatar_f_tn
I would recommend another referral to a gynecologist oncologist.  I was told that even though my 8.4 cm cyst was probably just a cyst, it was pressing on my kidney and bladder and could start twisting and was big enough to come out!. It unfortunately was cancerous, but very early stage. I have had a burst cyst and there is no pain that is worse, not even labor pains.  The sheer size of the cysts (over 5cm) should be problematic, regardless of the type.  Your body is speaking with the pain.  Keep looking for a doc who is paying attention.
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187666_tn?1331176945
Love good news always. Yes, I suppose since you've had one cyst that was other than plain fluid, it's a good idea to watch out for more. Right now I'm so happy for you.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you ladies so much! I'm just taking this one day at a time. I go for genetic testing on Monday, so hopefully that's another step closer to figuring things out. I'm so glad to have found such a supportive bunch of women! Thank you all again!
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