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Ovarian Cancer Diagnostic tests: CA125 and ultrasound
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DUKE MEDICINE
Andrew Berchuck, MD posted:
Although the CA125 blood test has not been approved for ovarian cancer screening in asymptomatic women, it is useful in the diagnosis of ovarian cancer. So if you have symptoms such as abdominal bloating and pain or change in urinary frequency or bowel movements that could be related to ovarian cancer, you should probably encourage your doctor to order a CA125 blood test. In addition, a pelvic ultrasound would also be another appropriate test to image the ovaries to look for the presence of cancer.
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fendigirl responded:
I HAVE HAD A CYST 3.5 ON MY OVERY 4YEARS ,NO CHANGE MY CA125 WERE ALWAYS NORMAL. THIS CHECKUP FOUND MY CYCT HAD GROWN TO4.9 AND MY TUBE IS VERY INFLAMED CA125 THIS TIME IS ELEVATED. .IS IT CANCER BECAUSE THE TEST IS ELEVATED WILL BE GOING 4 MRI TOMORROW. HOW ACCURATE IS THIS BLOOD TEST .
 
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cl1234 responded:
I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and my right ovary has been giving me problems(growing cyst/burst cyst). I had 2 vaginal ultrasounds but no indication of cancer. Do I have the option of just having the ovary removed? My left ovary doesn't seem to be causing any issues although occasionally I get a quick shooting pain. Any information would be quite helpful and appreciated!

cl1234
 
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cl1234 responded:
Also, can I just ask my doctor for the CA125 test?
 
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fendigirl replied to cl1234's response:
insist on a ca125 blood test. i took another one a month after the first one came back high 50 and now it went back down to 7 also get an pelvic m.r.i. with contrast and you can see 3 d of whats going on inside . they also will not remove your ovary until the cyst is at least 5 cm .be proactive get your tests if the doctor doesnt care change your doctor good luck
 
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loretogal replied to cl1234's response:
Certainly you have the option of having just the ovary and the tube removed. My surgery is scheduled on April 20th for just that. They won't know if it's cancer until they remove it to be able to do the pathology.
 
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biggy123456 replied to fendigirl's response:
the ca125 is not a proven test. but physicians say it is
 
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lolly58 responded:
have a cyst on my left oveay which is 4 cm and on a ultrasound it shows a mass that covers my right ovary which has hidden my ovary completly im worried as im booked in for removal of both in the next 3 weeks ,my ca125 test was normal so am i cancer free? many thanks .. lorraine
 
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Anon_6061 replied to lolly58's response:
lolly - Are you saying you are booked to have both ovaries removed or both cysts? MOST ovarian cysts, even suspicious looking ones, are benign (non-cancerous). And I have read that when there are cysts on both ovaries it is unlikely to be cancer. The CA125 is not accurate in diagnosing ovarian cancer. Ovarian cancer is very rare in women who do not have one of the gene mutations or a family history. The average woman's lifetime risk is less than 2% (.gov cancer stats say 1.4%).

I also had a suspicious looking cyst (9cm) and my doctor rushed me into surgery. Even though the biopsy done while I was in the OR was benign, he proceeded to remove all my sex organs anyway. My life and health (and even my appearance) have suffered horrifically as a result. I was almost 50 years old at the time of surgery.

There are surgeons who do cystectomies and can remove large cysts and still save your ovaries (or at least enough tissue for normal hormone production). Our ovaries and uterus are needed our entire lives for good health and well-being. Medical studies clearly show the harm caused by removal of the ovaries (oophorectomy) and/or uterus. PubMed is a good source.

Female organ removal is grossly overused so it can be difficult to find a surgeon who is willing to use conservative treatments and has the proper skills.

Dr. William Parker in California is the author of the book "A Gynecologist's Second Opinion" and uses organ sparing procedures (e.g., cystectomy for ovarian cysts, hysteroscopy or myomectomy for fibroids, etc). Here is his website about ovarian cysts - http://ovaryresearch.com/. Use the left sidebar to navigate the topics.

I have connected with some women whose cysts were monitored via ultrasound. I did not think complex cysts went away on their own. But for some of these women, they did. So monitoring yours may be an option at least by a doctor who isn't "surgery happy." And if yours do not have the characteristics of malignancy (such as septations and thick walls) then it would seem that you have more time to research and seek out other opinions. But even if they do have concerning characteristics, chances are great that they are benign if you do not have the genetic risk factors for ovarian cancer. Also, if there is any chance of malignancy, seek out an oncologist (and preferably not one referred by the gyn who is planning to remove your ovaries).

I wish you the best! Please post back and let us know how this all plays out. I hope to hear good news.


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