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Ovarian cancer - impossible for some to diagnosis?

By Anonymous December 31, 2009 - 12:20am
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Since Jan 2009, have gone through 'symptoms' of ovarian cancer - bloating, pain, nausea, extreme fatigue, weight loss, vertigo, problems with bowels. Have had many tests, CT scans, ultrasounds, xtrays, bloodtests. Nothing shows. Now having problems with lungs - (breathing difficulties) - other symptoms have gone away. What can I do? If it's in my lungs, it would be already at stage IV. Doctors are fed up with me - cannot get anymore tests. Please help!

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Thanks so much for writing back.

Not long ago I actually saw an episode of the Dr. Oz show in which a woman's ovarian cancer was found early primarily due to her own determination that something wasn't right. However, she was misdiagnosed with other things first. You're right, the first bits of ovarian cancer seem very hard to detect. However, Dr. Oz pointed out symptoms that he wanted all women to be aware of:

Increased abdominal size
Abdominal pain
Pelvic pain
Difficulty eating
Feeling full quickly

Since some of those are symptoms you have had, I have to applaud your efforts to find out what is going on. I'm very glad you have an appointment with a gyn-oncologist; I wish you didn't have to wait until February, but I'm very glad you got in. Here's a link to the Dr. Oz article on how to detect ovarian cancer:


Clearly, you have a mystery going on here, since many of your early symptoms have gone away.

I would think that losing 30 pounds in 4 months without dieting would alarm any doctor. Did your doctors (or your naturopath) suggest an explanation for this?

Here is the Mayo Clinic's page on causes of unexplained weight loss. Have your doctors also tested or screened you for such things as thyroid issues, gastrointestinal conditions or kidney disease, for instance?


Have you been under a lot of stress lately, or had lifestyle changes that might be affecting your metabolism? (an increase in exercise, a loss of appetite, etc)?

And how long have you been on the apo-lorazepam? Do you take it daily?

I ask because some of the side effects of the drug are the same symptoms you are experiencing, including abdominal pain, dizziness (vertigo), changes in appetite, bowel changes, nausea and fatigue (scroll down to side effects):


Could there be any connection?

January 4, 2010 - 7:48am


Welcome to EmpowHER! And thank you for your question.

I'm so sorry that you've gone through a year of symptoms, fear and medical tests without being able to find out what's causing your difficulties.

May I ask you a few questions?

How old are you?

Do you have a regular menstrual cycle still?

Are you overweight, and if so, by about how much?

Do you have other medical conditions, like diabetes, asthma, anything?

How much weight have you lost?

What medications are you on? (For anything at all.)

If you had a cancer that had spread to your lungs, the original symptoms would not go away. For instance, if bloating or pelvic pain was caused by cancer, it would not simply go away simply because it metastasized to another area. So perhaps that is a bit of good news for you and a sign that it may not be an abdominal cancer at all.

What do you mean when you say doctors are fed up with you? How many have you seen? Do they believe that your symptoms don't really exist?

Why are you so convinced that you have ovarian cancer? Is there a history of it in your family?

Have you seen a gynecologic oncologist? They are gynecologists with special training in cancers.

Please let us know some more information so we can see if we can help you figure this out.

December 31, 2009 - 9:22am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Diane Porter)

Hi there, I really appreciate you responding to my post.

This is the nitty gritty - I turned 40 last month, no children, periods are heavy and seem to cause vertigo. I used to be 135lbs and then went down to 105 lbs (without dieting!) in four months. No medical condition - was perfectly healthy until last year and blam - everything started. On apo-lorazepam for anxiety - seen two doctors, two gyn's, two gastro doctors and a naturopathic doctor. No real luck. I'm getting the 'all in my head routine'. Finally got an appt to see a gyn-onc in Feb due to my own footwork. No immediate cancer in my family that I know of.

I started researching back in August wondering why I couldn't get a diagnosis or answers and found many ladies with the same symptoms diagnosed with late stage ovarian cancer - and that it is a difficult cancer to detect - cancer nodules being so small and able to reproduce like wildfire. It seems without a biopsy or surgery the screening tests for this cancer aren't very good.

Thank you! Lynne

December 31, 2009 - 1:17pm
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