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Ovarian Cancer Community
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Avatar universal

Symptoms/OC

For over one month (close to 2) there has been bloating (at times severe--resembling a 6-month pregnancy) upper and lower digestive system.  Family practice doctor gave me Prilosec.  Doesn't work.  Upper bloating makes it difficult to breathe when lying down.  Cramping in pelvic area and diffuse pain in very low back much like bad menstrual cramps and right side/hip area as well--to the point of using some pain meds.  Nausea and no appetite is a very unusual symptom for me.  I feel full.  Malaise (unusual).  No depression.  

History:  I ovulated and bled every single month from my right ovary (with cramps), had sickening menstrual cramps and dealt with extremely painful monthly mittelschmerz (until I was 50, or there bouts) that you would not believe.   Once, it was so bad that my perfectly good appendix was removed.  There would also be bleeding.  No symptoms on the left side.  The doc put me on birth control at 13 and I promptly began vomiting--couldn't really ever take any type of bc pill due to that side effect.  Two children, first at age 21.  Nursed the first for a couple of weeks and then came down with the flu and dried up.

Had a pelvic exam Tuesday, two days ago.  Same family practic doctor was laughing and talking with nurse.  Didn't really examine ovaries in usual manner.  She contacted ovary and press upward against ceiling with no hand on top to palpitate it.  I finally had to ask her if either was enlarged.  She said, "Oh, yes! Your ovaries.  No, I don't THINK so."  Asked me if I would like a TVS anyway.  Wrote an order for me to have it at an urgent care facility.  

Went for 5-year routine colonoscopy with scope of esophagus and colon next day, Wednesday.  Doc thinks that there is a lack of probiotics in colon due to possible proliferation of bacteria even though no recent antibiotics were taken (last time over two years ago).  He is supplementing flora with a capsule of broad-spectrum flora daily for 8 days.  If worse, then antibiotics.  No culture taken.  He seemed somewhat baffled.  He doesn't really know what is in there.

I cancelled the TVS at urgent care facility and found an Gyno/Onco doc that was recommended to me by a kind, knowledgeable angel at a major medical facility.  She asked if I had a TVS appointment and where.  She was appalled to find out that it was at an urgent care facility.

Is there a correlation between by-products of cancer and decline in intestinal flora with OC and intestinal involvement?  Can cancer cells be detected during colonoscopy or does barium w/ x-ray need to be done.  Will the gyno/onco address this further?  Did I do the right thing or was it over-kill to search for a doc on my own?  

If it is not OC, no big deal.  I won't even be embarrased.  If it is, then my life is on the line, right?

I am 59, not overweight, non-smoker, occasional wine or beer, low-fat, female.  My mother had postmenopausal BC.  My period began at 13 along with copious amounts of Quest deodorant powder poured out on my pads until I was 27.  Then, some repair from two 9-lb. babies and 2 hour labors had to be done.  There was an hysterectomy but retention of ovaries.

My symptoms make me think that I would rather be wrong than die.  Right?

11 Responses
Avatar universal
You did absolutely the right thing and have a great attitude about it. Better safe than sorry!
Your other docs are full of cr*p, how does GI doc know there too much bad bacteria and not enough good without testing. Did he biopsy your colon during colonoscopy. I think you have to test the small intestines any way, but not sure.

Anyway, Dr. Goodman on this site, said anything that disrupts normal peristalsis (sp?) of intestines can cause bloating, that is why a cyst or mass can do this.
TVUS is next best test for you. Most likely and hopefully just a benign cyst is causing your symptoms.

I had the same trouble with a bunch of lame doctors, before a good doc found my tumor.
Then I saw more lame docs who said it was nothing, until I found one who took it seriously.
It is very frustrating, but you are doing the right thing by taking control and going to gyn/onc.
It's unfortunate it has to be that way.

Good luck and keep us posted.
Avatar universal
Thanks Casey for your good wishes.  The scary thing is that our family physician was tenured at a large medical facility and taught medical students.  The gastro is highly, highly respected.  He did take two biopsies; one of the stomach and another of the esophagus.  Perhaps there will be more info on what was done when the reports come back.

Hopefully, the new doctor (who is highly experienced and comes highly recommended) will get me on the right track if OC is suspect.  If not, it is bye-bye for him, too.  

Dying from politeness is absurd.  The comfort level of this decision is high, even if it is completely wrong.  Patient's pride shouldn't come into play.  Plus, there is the bonus of a new gyn for my annual visit so, if in the future there is a problem; I am already an established patient.  

Incompetent doctors will come along they always do.  But, cavalier doctors are the worst.

Thank you!
Avatar universal
You summarize it very well! No time to be polite when your heath is involved. I did exactly as you did once I got my act together. One wrong comment or whatever from a doctor and they were history!

I give you a brief sample:
First GP: "there is nothing seriously wrong with you" as he perscribed mega doses of acid reducers and ordered the same blood work over and over.

First Ob/Gyn: "why are you here to see me? Because of the CT reports of a mass? Well it is probabaly a common cyst" and then I asked about my symptoms and she said, "well that sounds like advanced ovarian cancer and you don't have that" and she ordered B12 and lupus tests.

2nd Ob/Gyn: "the cyst is not causing your symptoms, cut back on coffee and soda".
After Gyn Onc ordered CA125 and it was elevated at 388, so he wanted to do surgery (because of endometrioma), this 2nd Ob/Gyn called and offered to do it. What a loser, see ya! Do I look like an idiot, that I would let a less qualified doctor do my surgery.
I ended up have  borderline cancer and endometriosis. So, again, better safe than sorry.

Ok, thanks for letting me vent.

You are doing exactly the right thing.

Keep me posted.
Avatar universal
Hoping to be the biggest fool on the planet.  

Will keep in touch.  Appointment with Gyn/Onc is Monday after Thanksgiving.
187799 tn?1219613173
Good for you!  I gave up last year with the onco:  "Oh, just a little adeno, cysts, fibroids, etc. Why do you think it's something more?"  Um, duh, I'm in excruciating pain and have all the symptoms they tell you to check out for OVCA, idiot!!!

But....... alas, I have some awful cysts on both ovaries right now and about to head out to the ER as I can't stand the pain.  Although when I went to ER last year the doc was sure it was diverticulitis; I bet him upon CT that it was a cyst - guess who was right?  Me, my own advocate until the onco made me feel like a baby!  I'm actually scared to get involved with any more gynos/oncos.  So we'll see what the ER doc says - fun, fun!
Avatar universal
I am really sorry to hear that you are in such awful pain.  Some doctors can't figure out that it is a real symptom!  Duh!

We can look at a doctor's credentials at http://www.ama-assn.org/ or most hospitals have web sites with their staff's information listed.  Also you can ask your insurance company for his/her information and if a particular in network doctor is board certified.  Sometimes a doctor's credentials and scope of practice is on the insurance company's web site.  Of course, you can have the most highly credentialed jerk in the world for a doctor.  I know.  Word of mouth helps.  BUT I DON'T HAVE ANY FRIENDS WITH SYMPTOMS OF OVCA!  I am not telling them about me just yet or the casserole patrol will be here.  They are good girls. :-)

Remember that ER docs are used to carwrecks, heart attacks, seizures, gun shots, allergic reactions, knife fights and broken limbs.  They will put a patch on you, send you home and tell you to call your doctor Monday morning.  Please, please search for a reliable gyno/onc.  Sometimes nurses can tell you things that others don't know and help you to find a talented, sympathetic doctor WHO LISTENS.  

I may end up going through a lot of doctors like some women go through men.  It's not that I want to be diagnosed with OVCA but if the doctor is cavelier, the diagnosis can't be trusted either way.  

Maybe someone else has a set of criteria that helps us to know whose hands we are putting our precious, painful feminity into.  Are there any other realiable methods i.e., online or within our medical communities to search?

Hope you get some pain med, get into your p.j.s and get a break from it hatgal.  


187799 tn?1219613173
Yeah, I know the ER docs do all that and aren't very used to treating this.  Actually all that ER doc did last year was send me offf with meds but also insisted I see the gyno/onco - the jerkoff who totally belittled my intelligence as a woman who exactly knows her body and still, in the back of my mind (and especially now that it's coming to the forefront of my medical issues again) feels something is not right.  That doctor is a VERY respected member of the hospital community in my area and surrounding and is also one in a very few who practice this specialty.  Won't go back to him though and I figure if the CT shows something at the ER (and I know it will) then I can take those films to whomever.  But, yes, I do need pain reilef until I can get into see these "very special doctors."  Ugh........

Thanks for posting to me.  And my very best to you..........
232875 tn?1196112630
I am going thru the same thing , have a cyst on my ovar the size between a dime and a quater, and if I remember right ovaries are like the size of an acorn.
Go back to see the Gyn on Tuesday, Nov 20th.
Hoping he will be on board to take ovaries out and do biopsy of everything to rule it out.
As you don't want to have cancer but I do want to rule it out if its not , and not have a doctor drag their feet. I have been having these cramps and heavy bleeding for a couple years and two other doctors said oh just a little cyst and it can't cause you much problem............IDIOTS!
At least this doctor and nurse did say this can cause the problems I am having.
Nurse told me to be sure to keep my appt to make plans on what to do about the cyst.
This week I have been a basket case, forgetting things, walking around in a daze, moody, and a kluts on top of it.
Will be glad when Tuesday gets here and I can get an answer and move on , with a firm decison I hope and not just pushed aside like some wacko female who has PMS and no idea what she is talking about.
Have done so much reading on the internet about OC , I can probably tell the doctor some stuff...............lol!
Have feeling that this doctor will do the right thing but you just never know.
I will not take Birth control pills for this , been there done that not doing it again.
Taking my mom with me so I will have another person for support and to ask questions I may forget.
And she will stand up to him and demand answers I get my ways of being a mother from her very firm when it comes to my children and want answers and no beating around the bush are put on the side.
Hopefully will get this over and done with and move on with my life.
Keep us posted on how things are going ckr and Hatgal.
And all of you are in my thoughts and prayers.
Sonya
Avatar universal
Yes, it is a circular maize!  I, too, have a fierce mother (she's 87) and if she gets wind of any doctor will get his comeuppance in a twinkling.  Of course, she thinks my TVU is part of my colonoscopy right now.  Sometimes we have to be our own fierce mothers.

Yup, I would love for these guys to be "fancy on the inside" for about a year as part of their training.  Some of them would change their tunes and the way they "treat" women.  

Poor things can use both sides of their brains like we do.  They just aren't wired up in our grand fashion.

We all need answers or at least an honest, "I don't know."

Prayers.

Avatar universal
CORRECTION:

I MEANT TO SAY:  THEY CAN'T USE BOTH SIDES OF THEIR BRAINS.  tee, hee.
Avatar universal
Yes, it is a circular maize!  I, too, have a fierce mother (she's 87) and if she gets wind of this any doctor will get his comeuppance in a twinkling.  Of course, she thinks my TVU is part of my colonoscopy right now.  Sometimes we have to be our own fierce mothers.

Yup, I would love for these guys to be "fancy on the inside" for about a year as part of their training.  Some of them would change their tunes and the way they "treat" women.  

Poor things can't use both sides of their brains like we do.  They just aren't wired up in our grand fashion.

We all need answers or at least an honest, "I don't know."  

Prayers.

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