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Ovarian Cysts in perimenopausal women

Since last year my periods have been irregular.  I am 53.  I would have a period for a couple of months, then not for a month, then for 3 weeks at a time, then not for 2 months, then finally last month (May) I started for one week very light and went for 3 weeks very heavy, and one week light.  I have always had problems with cysts on my right ovary and have always had pain on that side during ovulation.  Well, I had a pelvic ultrasound and they told me I had septated cystic mass on my right , 6.4 cm.  Of course, I freaked out!  My doctor, who is a family medicine doc, told me there's a possibility it may be cancerous.  I had the CA125 or whatever blood test today, final results not back yet and I'm scheduled for an MRI in a few days.  My CBC, and creatin levels were good.  My doctor sent me to a OBGYN who is head of the dept in gyno for my medical team.  I am scared to death it's cancer.  I haven't really had bloating or stomach issues, but my periods for the last year have been very inconsistent and heavy.  Can someone shed some light on this?  I have 5 children and 5 grandchildren.  I am about 30 lbs overweight and wonder how much that comes into play on these issues.  
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Most ovarian cysts, even ones with suspicious traits, are benign (non-cancerous). Ovarian cancer (OC) is rare with a woman's lifetime risk being less than 2% (U.S. government statistics say 1.3%). The CA125 is not accurate at diagnosing OC because benign conditions (such as benign cysts) can cause an elevated / positive result. Doctors have to "cover the bases" plus imaging is not an exact science so oftentimes women are told that cancer cannot be ruled out.

Ovarian cysts can alter bleeding patterns (since they can alter hormones) but you are also of perimenopausal age when the menstrual cycle goes haywire so that may explain your erratic bleeding too.

If this cyst needs to be surgically removed, the frozen section done while you are in the operating room should dictate the course of surgery. If frozen section is benign, you should not need to lose any organs (not even the ovary) IF you have a surgeon with good cystectomy skills and strong ethics. Unfortunately, FAR too many women lose organs when it is unnecessary.

I was over-treated and have been suffering the negative health effects when I went into surgery for a 9.5cm complex ovarian cyst. My gyn removed both ovaries, tubes and my uterus despite a benign frozen section. I have since discovered through experience and research how vital our uterus and ovaries are for LIFE LONG health and well-being. They are not useless after menopause! Removal of even one part can cause permanent negative effects.

Keep us posted on what more you find out. And make sure you understand the repercussions of the removal of any part of the "reproductive" system.
Avatar universal
Ovarian cysts are common and almost always benign (non-cancerous) including ones that have some suspicious traits. A woman's lifetime risk of ovarian cancer (OC) is less than 2% (1.3% per U.S. government statistics). Imaging is not exact and doctors have to cover their bases hence the reason for saying malignancy cannot be ruled out. Biopsy is the only way to know for sure

Erratic bleeding is pretty much the norm during perimenopause. The cyst may or may not be contributing to the bleeding.

The CA125 test is not accurate at diagnosing OC because benign cysts and other things can cause an elevated / positive result. False negatives are also a possibility.

Unfortunately, far too many women lose an ovary or ovaries (and even their uterus) unnecessarily. A frozen section can be done at the time of surgery to check for cancer. If it is negative / benign, you shouldn't need to lose any organs. Only the cyst itself should be removed (cystectomy).

Contrary to what we are told or led to believe, we need our ovaries and uterus our whole lives. Numerous studies show that they are critical to many aspects of health and well-being.

My organs were removed at age 49 for a benign ovarian cyst and I am still horrified by how many problem it's caused. My surgeon even waited for the results of the frozen section which was benign before removing my organs!
I am in exactly the same predicament.  No periods - age 49 and a sepated cyst.  They want a repeat ultrasound and it is only going to show that things got worse..  Waste of my time. With no period, there is no way this thing, and the uterine lining will shrink... I'm upset.
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