Left Ovarian Cyst with Septations, irregular periods and weight loss
I am Heather, and I am 37 years old. So during a recent hospitalization for an unrelated matter, I had an abdominal CT scan that found I had an ovarian cyst 2cm on my left ovary. Ultrasound confirmed. I no longer have periods from my right ovary as the tube was removed 10 years ago due to an ectopic. My periods have been wonky for 4 months and I have had pain on the left side, but I chalked them up to something else. I have lost 60 pounds in the past year. I saw an internal medicine doctor for unexplained weight loss. We found nothing, but of course, we knew nothing about this. My mother had a full hysterectomy in her late 30's due to cysts. I am not sure if they were benign or malignant. I cannot recall. My doctor cannot get me in until 6 weeks from now due to scheduling constraints, which concerns me, being that if it is something troubling, I know that early intervention is the best action. I am done having children. I have a history of reproductive problems, as I have had the ectopic and 6 additional miscarriages and 3 live births that were induced early due to my conditions. Should I call and ask that this be escalated or just be patient? Something to worry about or just be calm? I would like to think if it is something not so good, that it was a blessing that this was caught during a scan that was meant to catch something else (I had a GI bleed, that's why they did the full abdominal CT scan). Thoughts?
It seems the GI bleed could be the cause of your weight loss. If you do not have a predisposition / family history of ovarian cancer, then your lifetime risk of OC is less than 2% (1.3% to be exact per cancer.gov). You said you do not know if your mother's hysterectomy was done for ovarian cancer or not. Only 2% of hysterectomies are done for a cancer diagnosis. And only 2% of ovary removals are done for a cancer diagnosis so chances are that your mom did not have OC but it would be good to find out if you can.
MOST ovarian cysts are benign, even complex ones. And sometimes complex ones go away on their own so it would be reasonable to do an ultrasound before undergoing surgery (a u/s will usually show enough such that it isn't necessary to subject yourself to the radiation of a CT scan).
The uterus and ovaries work together and have lifelong functions - anatomical, skeletal, hormonal, sexual. The ovaries do not shut down at menopause and are shown to produce hormones into a woman's 80's for optimal health and well-being.
I had a hysterectomy at age 49 and the after-effects have been horribly aging and debilitating. All the problems that ensued are common medically documented after-effects of oophorectomy (ovary removal) or post-hysterectomy ovarian failure and uterus removal. So just be sure to do your homework before undergoing a hysterectomy and/or oophorectomy (ovary removal) as these procedures are shown to do more harm than good when done for benign conditions.
If the cyst does not go away and/or is suspicious looking, a surgeon with good cystectomy skills should be able to remove just the cyst, send it for frozen section biopsy, and then sew you back up if the biopsy is benign. You would not need to lose any organs. Since 76% of hysterectomies do not meet ACOG criteria and healthy ovaries are removed at time of hysterectomy 73% of the time, finding an organ-sparing surgeon may take a little work. But your life and health are worth it (if of course this is benign as most are).
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