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Do I really need surgery for ovarian mass?
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Do I really need surgery for ovarian mass?

Hi, I was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 42 (invasive ductal carcinoma). I'm now 45 and doing great. I do have persistent ovarian masses that hopefully are cysts (my opinion) and slightly elevated ca 125. The ca 125 has varied over the past few months since they started checking it -- sometimes in the fifties and sometimes in the seventies -- but not consistently rising. I guess my left ovary is quite large at this point, which it wasn't a few months ago. Surgery was recommended a few months ago, but I've been trying to evade it. Today, I was emphatically told by my doctor that I need to have the left ovary removed and biopsied. She said it could be endometriosis (no symptoms) but that with my history of cancer, the size of the ovary, the fact that I never had children, and the elevated ca 125, I need to have it removed. I keep wanting to wait, but my doctor said I've already waited long enough. Is it really a no-brainer that I need surgery, or is waiting a feasible option. I'm concerned about missing work, etc. Thank you so much for your time!
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I agree with your doctor.  Better safe than sorry.  Ovarian cancer is much more easily dealt with when caught early.  Why would you not have the surgery?  

If you remain resistent to the idea of surgery, please consult with a gynecological oncologist.  They have extra training and more experience -- and they often do surgeries when it's likely that the result will be benign.  You want a gyn onc on your team for any gyn surgery.  
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I agree with shewrites and your doctor.  If cyst is quite large you could also run the risk of it twisting or torsion.  Which would mean emergency surgery.  Better to be safe than sorry.  

I wish you well, let us know how you get along.

Love, Dawnlyn
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Thank you so much, Shewrites and Dawnlyn, for your advice! I don't like the idea of surgery when I think I'm fine, but it's probably true that safe is better than sorry. Thank you!
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btw, I'm just using this forum for the first time and just noticed that I can see your info., and both of you where diagnosed at stage 1A. I don't mean to pry, so please only answer if you want to, but I'm curious how you were diagnosed that early. Was it found incidentally? Were your ca 125's elevated? Because apparently that's why my doc wants me to have the surgery -- because there really isn't any way of knowing without removing the ovary for biopsy. I keep wanting to wait to see if the ca 125 suddenly shoots up in order to have evidence before proceeding with surgery, but apparently, then you're catching it at a later stage if it's cancer. My doc, my mom, and you are all advising me that it's better to be safe than sorry. Also, since I had estrogen positive breast cancer, apparently it's not so bad to have less estrogen floating around in my system. You can hear me convincing myself as I write this:)
I wish you both good health and happiness!! Thanks so much!
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I had a sudden, sharp pain in my gut.  Next day, my internist sent me for a CT scan to confirm his diagnosis, diverticulitis.  They had me wait to talk with him after the scan.  I thought he would ask where to call in the prescription.  Instead, he said I had a 10 cm mass on my left ovary -- and referred me to a gyn oncologist.  I had surgery a couple weeks later.  The gyn onc didn't even see my scan before scheduling surgery, and he didn't do a CA-125 until I was ready to start chemo.  Because I was 1A, he let me heal for six weeks, take a two week trip, and then start chemo.  He's been confident that I was curable from the beginning -- and I'm now nearly eight years from diagnosis, so he was right.  

Trust me.  After a year reading this forum, I can say for sure you'd rather be a 1A than anything else.  Don't mess around with this.   And do have a gyn oncologist involved with your case.  

Good luck, and keep in touch.  
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Hi. Thank you for taking the time to share your story, shewrites. That must have been a shock. I'm glad you're doing well eight yrs. later!!! Thank you for your advice!
May you have a fantastic New Year!
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I was having pain for a few months on my right side, I have sufferend multiple ovarian cysts before so I thought I had another.  The first TVUS I had showed 3 cm cyst so we waited another two months the pain got worse, on next TVUS it showed I had septated cyst that was 5 cm.  I went to large hospital who rechecked everything and this doctor said initially they would wait a few more months to see what happened, but when he looked at ultrasound report from my local doctor, my local doctor had made an error in size so I guess it was a good thing that new doctor checked or read the ultrasound report.  So when new doctor said the cyst was 10cm two weeks later I had the surgery.  My CA-125 never went above 11.  This was not a good indicator for me.  I also did not need chemo.  I have cat scans every 6 months and see the doctor every 3 months.  My surgery was two years ago this February.  I agree with shewrites on being 1A.  Please let us know how you get along.

Love, dawnlyn
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Hi Dawnlyn, Thanks for sharing your story. I'm glad the new doc. read the correct info! I'm also glad you're doing well and being watched carefully! Thank you so much for being willing to take the time to advise me. Although I feel healthy, I am taking the advice of you and Shewrites, my doc, and my mom. I'm sure you're all right -- that it's better to be safe. I know ovca is rare, which is why I've been hesitant to have surgery, but my mom reminded me that I was SURE I didn't have breast cancer and almost canceled the biopsy, but it turned out I had it. So, we'll see this time. I feel positive, but I've made a call to schedule surgery to be on the safe side.
Best wishes to you for a healthy, fulfilling life! I wish you a fantastic New Year!! And thanks, again, for your generosity! I'll let you know how it turns out.

Asha
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