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Do doctors consider ovarian cancer in teens?
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Do doctors consider ovarian cancer in teens?

My daughter is 14 and over the last couple months has had numerous gastrointestinal issues such as gas, diarhea (diarrhea), nausea, bloating, decreased appetite, and weight fluctuations. She has missed approx. 15 days of school so far this year. We went to the doctor for this and they said it was probably a virus or stress. It all seemed to come to a head last Thursday when we ended up in the Emergency room with what the school nurse thought was appendicitis. Her pain level was an 8.5 out of 10 - and she has a pretty high pain tolerance, she's had multiple sports injuries by which I have come to know this. She had blood tests done, and urinalysis, which didn't show anything conclusive, so they had a ct scan done. The report said that it showed the appendix was fine, but that there was an ill- defined mass in the area of her right ovary which they thought could be a complex cyst on her ovary. It said that a ultrasound was needed to get a better look. We did the ultrasound and they could not see her right ovary at all. They saw her left one and her uterus and said they looked normal, but that the view of the right ovary was masked by gas or something and they could not see it. They couldn't do a vaginal ultrasound because of her age, so this made it hard to see. They also noted in both studies that she has free fluid there. By the next day her pain had decreased to almost normal- which lead us all to think it may have been during ovulation that the pain was so intense. The doctor just wants to wait and see, but it worries me that the symptoms she has had over the last couple months along with what happened last week could point to ovarian cancer. But I don't know if any of the blood tests that were done could have ruled it out? They never did see her right ovary clearly- should I be worried? I was wondering if a pelvic MRI would show early ovarian cancer? The doctor says that the gasrointestinal problems are probably unrelated- to me this seems unlikely.
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9 Comments
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135691_tn?1271100723
That's a tough one...I used to suffer from awful periods when I was a teen and found out, years later, that I had cysts on my ovaries. I remember being in emerg one night after one had burst...it was a wicked pain - really intense. I know it is possible to have cancer at that age, but not likely. And I'm sure many women here will tell you, yes, cysts can and do cause gastrointestinal problems. I'm sure a pelvic MRI would give them a much clearer picture of what's happening in her pelvis...would her doctor order one?
There is a blood test for ovarian cancer, but it's not used to diagnose it, more to use as a marker after a diagnosis has been made. (Although if cancer is suspected, most doctor's would order one) It's also very unreliable, especially in pre-menopausal women.
If it was a complex cyst, I'm sure they will keep an eye on it to see if it grows or not - just because it's complex though, does not mean it's cancer... Usually, they would consider removing it if it's 5cm or larger.
I hope this has helped..my only thought would be to make sure she has regular follow-ups to keep an eye on things.
Take care,
Becky
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398758_tn?1248223891
Unfortunately, I do know of one girl who had ovarian cancer at the age of 14. And, by the way, she's in her twenties now, happily married. : )
Best of luck.
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155056_tn?1333642288
IS  your daughter being seen by a GYN????  Also, have you considered a GYN/Oncologist....NO I DO NOT THINK THAT SHE HAS CANCER....but, these doctors have 3 years more schooling than OB/GYNs and they concentrate on gynocological issues and treat many benign conditions......OvCa is rare, especially at such a young age, but, it can happen.  There is a gentleman that posts about his 15 year old daughter and I personally know an 18 year old battling the disease right now.  In teens it is often a treatable form with excellent prognosis.....chances are your daughter is fine...but, why not have her seen by the experts.
Good luck...let us know what the doctors have to say.
Pam
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272338_tn?1252284004
Yes chances are that your daughter is fine. But please go ahead and follow this through by taking your daughter to a gyn or better yet a gyn/onc. You will feel much better if you do.
Although ovarian cancer is very rare in teens, it is not unheard of, and as Pam said, the prognosis is good.
Please let us know what you find out.
  Chris
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414018_tn?1268615272
Stay positive. But stay proactive. I am recently doing alot of work for OVCA in australia to make teens and young women aware of symptoms of ovarian cancer after being diagnosed at 22. With catching OVCA I do not recommend scans or MRI's the only thing that found my tumour on my right ovary was a laporoscopy and my biggest clue was changes in bal movements, pain and bloating. The best thing i could recommend is the new OVCA blood test, it has just been realised in australia, it costs $200 but is well worth it and detects early ovarian cancer.(not sure if its overseas yet) My best advice is i believe your daughter is fine and it would be more common for her to have polycystic ovaries or endometriosis but just to listen to her as she knows her body better than anyone else and to remain proactive... I too agree a gyno  or gyno oncologist would def be a good starting point instead of a gp. Best of luck, thinking of your daughter and I just know she will be fine, please keep us posted . much love.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks for all the responses- The last doctor I took her to after the hospital incident was a gyn. but she didn't want to check into it any further- no exam, no tests. she said to wait and see and is the one who said that the gastro. syptoms (symptoms) were unrelated, which I know is wrong, I just know. A question I have for all of you is - Is the pain, bloating, and change in bowel habits constant or does it come and go when you have ovarian cancer? Do you know what the difference is in symptoms between cysts or cancer? Is it worse when you ovulate or have a period? I want to know what to keep an eye on.. I don't know if the trip to the hospital was from a cyst bursting or maybe it just is more painful when you ovulate from an ovary which has a tumor on it? She hasn't had pain in that area since that incident which is why I was wondering if it can increase and decrease during cycles. She was having the bloating and pain and bowel changes for 2 months prior to that incident. I also want to know what they saw on that CT scan that made them include in the report that they suspect a possible complex cyst- I thought the kind of complex cyst they would see wouldn't just burst and be gone.
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414018_tn?1268615272
Everyone is different, I remember my bal flucuations and pain to come and go but over a long period of time, gradually getting worse over time. My periods were def more painful and irregular which also made my bal problems and bloating worse during my cycle. I'm sorry but I think you should see another gyno as 'wait and see' is just not good enough and bal problems are related, everything in that area is too close together for them to say its not. My bladder was also affected too.

When i went to the gyno with my mum we had done all the research and told them exactly what tests we wanted and lucky we did as they also just wanted to 'wait and see' and try every ineffective test under the sun, we were constantly going around and around in circles for 2 years before i demanded a laporoscopy and got the diagnosis.

Best of luck.
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A related discussion, ovarian cyst or cancer? was started.
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A related discussion, To the 14 year olds mother..... was started.
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i am a13 year old girl i am currently 4months off of treatment and i was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in december my tumor was the size of a basketball and i didn't really have symptoms i had swelling in my stomach it was so bad  my family just thought i was pregnant but really it was growing inside me other than the swelling i had  no symptoms they had me do a ultra sound and found liquids they said i had a tumor so my body was creating liquids because there was like another part of me growing inside
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