Ovarian Cysts Community
Should I have my ovaries removed?
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Should I have my ovaries removed?

Hi everyone,
I'm new to this site but am very encouraged to see there are so many other women out there with similar issues and concerns.

First a little history from 5 years ago...
Due to a massive uterine fibroid (the equivent of a 5-mo pregnancy according to one of the US techs), I had a hysterectomy.  Leading up to this, everyone believed that the fibroid was IN my uterius.  Only after I was opened up (vertically), did they discover it was UNDER my uterius, which was normal-sized/pushed up as far as it would go.  
The fibroid had completely filled my pelvic cavity, latching on to my left ovary and was beginning to pinch some type of supply line to my right kidney.  Anyway, it and my uterius were removed and at my request, the surgeon left as much of my ovaries as she could, only taking 1/2 of my left ovary and leaving the right one alone.

During a recent, routine exam (with that same surgeon-very cool) she asked about an earlier visit to my regular dr. about some right, lower abdomen occasional pain (which he had dismissed as the beginnings of a hernia).  
She felt it couldn't be that and explained it was either scar tissue (for which they would probably do nothing) or a tumor.  She ordered an US.  The US came back (4 weeks ago) with nothing wrong on the right side, but to her surprise, they did discover a "cystic mass": 13cm x 13cm x 5cm.  She used words like "Really, Really Big" &"Huge".  She did say that she and another dr. she had consulted with, did not think it was cancerous.

My questions are...
1.  How can just US's tell them if it's cancerous or not? (I do have a second US tomorrow for comparison).
2.  Should I also be asking for a C/A test?
3.  Is a C/A test a mute point as she's already scheduled me for surgery (in 7 weeks)?
4,  Should I again tell her to save what she can of my ovaries (for hormone sake) or should I just have her take them both to avoid having to go through surgery a possible 3rd time?

Sorry for the length of the post.
Thanks in advance for your answers/advice.

-Ellen
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Here's what one of the oncology websites says:  

"CA-125 is a protein that is produced by some abnormal ovarian cells and can be detected in a blood sample. ... However, some non-cancerous tumors may cause high CA-125 levels and some ovarian cancers do not raise CA-125, including early-stage disease.  Furthermore, pre-menopausal women may have an elevated CA-125 as a result of other conditions, such as pregnancy, endometriosis, uterine fibroids, liver disease, and benign ovarian cysts."  So it doesn't sound like having a high amount in your blood would tell you that much about your chance of cancer.  

Definitely an ultrasound is a rather incomplete way to diagnose cancer.  She may be basing what she said on a combination of cues, such as the size and shape of the mass, your general health picture and your recent history.

I tend to come down on the side of saving the ovaries for the hormones' sake, unless a doctor can prove a medical reason to remove them.  (If it were me personally, I would insist on keeping them until a needle biopsy of the ovary brought up actual cancer cells.  I'm not a fan of arguments that say "Gee, while we're in there we could get them and then you would never have to worry about cancer of the ovary."  By that logic, they should remove someone's pancreas or lungs too, so they would never get cancer.)

Unlike a 13x13x5cm mass, ovaries are pretty small.  If you had to go back for them, it could be done rather simply.  

I would talk it over with the doctor and just see what your whole medical picture might suggest about the ovaries in the future.  

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