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1080011 tn?1256071342

Frustrated with Drs

Hello All,

I have been having several probs for a while now and have been to two different GYN's. I don't feel like they are listening to me and brushing off my symptoms.  I realize symptoms can be the same for a wide variety of things but I have read and researched and feel my complaints are legitimate and would like to be heard.   I appreciate your listening to me and I apologize if I am just another paranoid patient.  I realize most of you on here are truly batteling this cancer and my prayers are with you all.  

First of all I am a 41 yr old that has never had children.  For the past year my periods have become increasingly heavier with large clots and much pain and cramping.  I go to the gym 5 days a week and have cut out all soft drinks in the past 6 months.  I saw a gyn in July whom I felt already diagnosed me from reading my chart before he walked in the door.  I had a normal pap in May with a nurse practioner (that I discussed the heavy periods and bleeding with or had no concerns).  The gyn did an endometrial biopsy that came back normal and an ultrasound that lasted all of about 2 minutes and he said my ovaries looked normal.  He wanted me to schedule an ablation right then and there.  Of course I wanted to discuss this with my husband first.

I then scheduled for a second opinion with another ob/gyn.  I felt like he listened to me somewhat.  He put me on the pill to try for 2 months and had a follow-up visit with him this morning.  Today he said if I wanted I could schedule to have a hysterectomy.  I told him I had some other concerns that I'd like to discuss first.  My complaints besides my periods (which since I started the pill have been continual, not as heavy but have had a period daily for 2 months now!)  I am fatigued all the time, I get up early and go to the gym and work out for an hour, shower, come home and could easily lie down and sleep.  My energy level is very low.  I have had a lot of gas for the past 2 months, prior to that I had been suffering with constipation, maybe would have one bm a week.  Now I'm more regular but always gassy.  My stomach is bloated, I have gained 13 pounds in 2 months altho my eating habits have not changed. I am bloated in my lower stomach.   For the past 6 months I have had constant pain in my back, lower left side.  It never stops hurting and has at times caused me to double over in pain.  The Dr's response today to all these things were..that I am too young to have ovarian cancer, not that people my age haven't had it but it is unlikely that I would, that my stomach bloating is probably from the gas and recommended some fiber mix I could stir into drinks and that the weight gain is from being put back on the pill.  He asked me if I had any back injuries which I haven't and that was all that was said about my back pain.  He said the changes in my period also indicates that it is not ovarian cancer. He told me to think about having a hysterectomy and call him when I was ready to schedule.  I might add my maternal grandmother died from uterine cancer and my maternal cousin was diagnosed with a rare breast cancer (metaplastic) last year.  

I appreciate any and all input.  If I am just being paranoid please say so and I will not question this any further and just have a hysterectomy and be done with it.  I just don't understand when I have several symptoms that I have read can be cause for concern why I feel I am being blown off.  Again, I realize these same symptoms can mean other things but that is why I decided to come to you as I believe you are the real experts on this issue.  

Thank you for listening.
JustG972

13 Responses
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340734 tn?1256586262
Okay, I'm frustrated for you.  Unless I missed something, I do not understand why both Gyns have not given you possible reasons for your symptoms (such as fibroid, non-ovulation, etc.)  Furthermore, if you have not been given any reasons, why in the world would both Gyns suggest you undergo a hysterectomy IF there has not been any life-threatening reason to do so?!

I understand regulating menstruation with the Pill, but, if this has not resolved your issues, then why jump to the conclusion you need a hysterectomy?  IF, and only IF you decide you may want to take that step, then my suggestion is this: DO NOT, I REPEAT, DO NOT HAVE THE HYSTERECTOMY PERFORMED BY A REGULAR OB/GYN.  Ask to consult a gyn oncologist before undergoing any type of surgery, because if there is a remote possibility of cancer, a gyn oncology surgeon is the best for detecting and removing the cancer correctly.  I developed a friendship with a woman that had a hysterectomy performed by a regular ob/gyn, and guess what....she had cancer and she is no longer with us because her surgery was not performed correctly.  If either of the ob/gyns are hesitant to set up an appt with a gyn oncologist, don't waste your time with these two and search for another.

Please don't let either of these Gyns give you bullsh*t about how its not cancer.  They have not done enough to disprove it.  My cancer was not detected by the vaginal ultrasound I had.  It was detected by a CT scan and I was already in Stage 3C.

I don't want you to be scared into thinking you have cancer and I truly hope this isn't the case.  But, I certainly do not want you to undergo a surgery without having enough further testing or consultation done to make sure it isn't cancer, especially if there is family history.

In my opinion, ask Dr Goodman for her suggestions, if any, to seek another ob/gyns in your area before going further with either of the ones you have already met with.  In fact, ask everyone you know and get a list of ob/gyns and call each and explain your concerns before deciding on meeting with any of them.  Your health is too important to be dissatisfied with the doctor(s) treating you.

Good luck in your endeavors and please keep us posted.
My best, Angie
Helpful - 0
340734 tn?1256586262
It's chemo brain again.  You haven't mentioned if either of the ob/gyns asked you to have a CA 125 blood test drawn.  It's not common to have this done unless cancer is evident, but, I have a friend who is in the high-risk group for OVCA (she's infertile) and her gyn has had this blood test performed even though she doesn't have cancer.  However, she is in the high-risk group and she just happens to have pro-active gyn.

Please note the CA 125 blood test is not an indication of cancer nor will it disprove it by just having this test done alone, but, if the test has a level above what is considered normal, more tests (such as a PET or CT or whatever) definitely should be done.

My best, Angie
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I obviously don't know what is wrong with you, but your doctor, if he really said that ovarian cancer is unlikely because of your age, is--well, an idiot. I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer just before my 43rd birthday, and there are lots of women I have come across on this site and others who were diagnosed in their 20s and 30s. Yes, statistically speaking, it is much more common after age 50. Still, if you have suspicious symptoms, I would not let a doctor blow you off. You may well have something entirely different--let's hope that is the case--but I don't think your doctors are doing their job properly.

It may be that the weight gain is from the pill, and it may be that there is a non-cancer explanation for your other problems. Even so, I don't think your doctors should be so dismissive, especially because of the ramifications if they turn out to be wrong.
Helpful - 0
1080011 tn?1256071342
Thank you so my Angie for replying.  What a relief to get some back up and someone make me feel like I'm not crazy.  No, neither Dr's suggested or ordered a CA125 or any other tests.  The 1st dr had his staff call and verify benefits on ablation while I sat in a hallway not knowing why I was waiting...then I was pulled into a room by a receptionist who told me how much of my deductible was met, how much I needed to pay for the ablation and when did I want to schedule.  The 2nd gyn looked at me today and said I could either try another bc pill since this one isn't helping or if I'm tired of dealing with this I could call back and they'd verify my insurance coverage and what I'd pay and schedule the hysterectomy from there.  And no, I have never been given any reason for the menstrual changes or further evaluation for cause.

I do not understand if this is known as a silent killer and you have many of the known symptoms why don't dr's want to check further rather than dismissing your symptoms?  While I was waiting to get a response from someone I read and read through this forum and decided to call my regular GP with the complaint of back pain.  I am going to request that he do a CA 125 and ??? what should I ask for, an MRI or CT?

Thank you again Angie, and I am sorry that you were not diagnosed until you were so far along.  God bless you for taking the time to answer my questions when you have your own battle going on.  I will add you to my prayers.

-JustG972
Helpful - 0
1080011 tn?1256071342
Yes, my Dr today really did say ovarian cancer was unlikely due to my age group and my heart sank when that was his response because I thought great, once again I'm basically being told one by one my symptoms means nothing. Even I know that's bull and should not be a reason to dismiss cancer. I told him I had been to different cancer websites and that I had several symptoms and he had a reason for each one of my symptoms which made me feel like I was an overly paranoid moron that shouldn't be allowed to search the internet.  He told me when he did the hysterectomy he would check then for ovarian cancer??????  Call me crazy but couldn't this be "checked" BEFORE a hysterectomy?  

It's not like I'm WANTING to be diagnosed with cancer...which is how these Dr's are making me feel, I just want some reason besides their saying so that it's NOT.

Thank you for hearing me and making me feel like this is not all in my head.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
What I find puzzling is this. All your symptoms may well have an explanation that is not cancer. But the fact that there MAY be a plausible, non-cancer explanation for each one does not prove that it ISN'T cancer.

The only way to be definitively diagnosed with ovarian cancer is a biopsy (frozen section, it's called) during surgery. So your doctor was not really wrong there. But there are tests you can do beforehand which should give you a better idea of whether it is cancer.

By the way, ultrasounds do not take long. Two minutes doesn't sound too short.

You might want to take a look at this link:

http://ovariancancer.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/2009.10.01-Symptom-Diary-Guidance_FINAL-revised.pdf

Helpful - 0
340734 tn?1256586262
If your GP does order the CA 125, wait until you get the result of the blood test and discuss it further with your GP as to what your next step should be.  Depending on the lab, the blood test may take a few days, but, not longer than a business week's time.

I hope your GP will be more apt to listen and take your concerns to heart AND do something more than what the other, um, doctors (I question if this really should be their title) have done thus far.  Your GP may even have a better gyn for you to consult with.

Only a pathology report will say for sure if tissue is benign or not and we all know this can only be done if a biopsy or surgery is performed.  But the comment you rec'vd from your gyn about checking afterwards just seems ludicrous.  Unless he's an oncologist with the additional schooling, he's off his rocker.

Oh, and don't take it personally if a doctor gets defensive when told about this or that on the Internet, etc.  Even the best doctors can get defensive.  It's just a human reaction which is sometimes ones first reaction.  I'm sure I made my doctor feel defensive at times and I've been angry with her at times, too.  But, that's when we discuss the differences, find a common ground and go on with my well being.

I really hope you find a good doctor that will listen, discuss and take necessary steps towards your well being.

Lastly, Ovarian Cancer is known as the 'silent' cancer (not killer as I've met women who have survived this well beyond 10 years) because the symptoms can be vague.  I was fatigued and constipated, but had no pain and my menstrual cycle was regular.  It wasn't until I bloated, looking 7 months pregnant in the matter of 2 weeks, that my body was telling me something was extremely wrong.  No one should have to wait until the body goes into turbo mode, which is why it is important to have a doctor that will listen and do more.
Helpful - 0
1080011 tn?1256071342
Thank you again.  That's my point exactly, it may not be anything but isn't there some checking we could do to give me some peace of mind.  I will check that link out, thank you.  

As far as the 2 minute ultrasound, I worked as a "girl friday" for several years in an ultrasound dept and the Dr spent 30 minutes on pelvic or transvag ultrasounds and he required a full bladder, so I guess that's why I didn't feel like it wasn't much of an ultrasound.
Helpful - 0
1080011 tn?1256071342
Angie, I'm sorry for a couple errors I made in my posts.  First off, I meant to say "Thank you so much Angie" not thank you so my Angie...haha , and secondly for calling it the silent killer rather than cancer.  I thought I re-read and proof read for mistakes before I hit submit but obviously still goofed.

Thanks again for making me feel like I'm not being a hyperchondriac in asking for proof that it's not cancer or even to find out exactly WHAT is going on.  I see the GP Thurs morning, I pray I'll be able to get through to him!!!
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I have had a lot of pelvic and transvaginal ultrasounds in the seven+ years since my diagnosis, and they never took more than a few minutes. Thirty sounds--well, weird.

Good luck in getting the right diagnosis.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
But yes, you do need a full bladder, at least for the pelvic (I think you don't for the transvaginal, but I can't remember).
Helpful - 0
792410 tn?1270315500
I'm frustrated with doctors too.  I find so many of them to be very cold and uncaring.  And talk about huge egos.  I thought finding a woman doctor would help, but it didn't.
Helpful - 0
1080011 tn?1256071342
I am happy to report my GP DID listen to me and agreed I had enough legitimate concerns that needed to be further investigated.  I did have the CA 125 along with several other lab today to check my thyroid, etc.  He wants me to stop taking the BC pill and I go back in 6 wks for more lab once the pill is out of my system so he can check my hormone levels etc.  I told him I was so upset Tues after my appt I sought you all out and was pleased I did and that you all did recommend I continue pursuing some answers, whew, what a relief.  I thought I was doing the right thing going to GYN's since it was gyn-issues...

Thanks again for your listening to me and offering advice.  I pray that you are all doing well and I will keep an eye out for you ladies on here.

Helpful - 0
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