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post menopausal ovarian cyst
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post menopausal ovarian cyst

I have a 6cm ovarian cyst, I am post menopausal.
The cyst looks benign on MRI, ultrasound and CA 125 tests which is a relief.
However, the cyst is causing discomfort. Sometimes I have an upset stomach which may be because it has been squished against my bowel (shown on scan). Often now I feel a pressure or discomfort in the area of my cervix or inner end of vagina.
Has anyone had the same problem of cyst pressing on different places?
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Although I didn't know I had my ovarian tumor until I was rushed into emergency surgery, I now realize that it was the cause of the discomfort I felt on my bladder. I also urinated very frequently because the tumor was slammed against my bladder all the time. I also remember feeling discomfort/pressure on the inside of my vagina and never knew what it was. My tumor was much larger weighing in at 20 pounds, being a foot wide. I feel SO much better now that it's gone. I am just over 5 weeks post op and it has been very difficult but I think with the size of yours you would heal quickly. :)
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It sounds like your cyst needs to be removed.  I had a 6cm cyst that turned out to be early staged ovarian cancer.  I did have pressure, pain and frequent urination.  Both benign and malignant cysts of that size can and do cause problems.  Unfortunately, the only way to know for sure if a cyst is benign or malignant is to have surgical biopsy.  The CA-125 is not a good test for determining malignancy.  It can be normal with advanced ovarian cancer and high with benign conditions.  It is best used as a tool after you have already been diagnosed with ovarian cancer.  This is why having a pre-surgery number is important.  It is a good sign that you don't have signs on your scans that seem like your cyst is malignant.  Is your cyst complex?  Any complex cyst over 5cm runs a chance of being malignant.  I was told that mine all looked benign and it wasn't.  I was only 37 when I was diagnosed.  My neighbor, however, was post-menopausal,  in her sixties and had an 8cm cyst and it was benign.   You just can't tell.

Since you are post-menopausal, you have a slightly increased risk.  If your cyst is complex (has solid parts), then you need to ask for a consult with a gynecologic oncologist prior to your surgery.  This way, he/she will be able to step in and complete the staging if malignancy is found in the frozen section.  This will prevent you from having to have second surgery later for staging and will allow you to undergo treatment sooner if needed.  Also, gyn/oncs have more experience in removing ovarian malignancies without spreading the contents of the cyst throughout the abdomen.  This is just a precaution and in no way means I think you have a malignancy.  But, it is best to be safe.  Be sure to ask your doctor if you cyst is complex and then for a referral to a gyn/onc if it is.  Here are a couple of links that will give you some more information if you find yourself in that situation:

http://www.wcn.org/articles/treatment/gynecologic_oncologists/overview/

http://www.wcn.org/findadoctor/

Even benign cysts cause problems when they grow past 5cm.  So, it is important that you do get it removed.  Cysts don't go away as easily in post-menopausal women.  It sounds like you are already experiencing uncomfortable symptoms for this cyst.

Take care,

Shelly
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