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Ovarian Cancer Progression

Aug 18, 2015

Hi, I am looking for some advice on my mothers case.

Two months back, she complained of constipation. Since the problem was not going away with normal medications, we took our doctors recommendation and performed all sorts of test. No diabetes, no thyroid, no blood pressure nothing in her blood tests to suggest something is wrong.

Her sonography revealed a mass in the right ovary. CT scans confirmed this and it measures around 12 cm. CT also confirmed that it has spread to other organs. What has shocked us all is that there was no mass there when she underwent a sonography same time last year. The growth and spread has happened in this last one year. She feels no pain. Only discomfort she has is when she has to use the bathroom. That too, she says is not that bad.

We will be doing a biopsy of the tumor soon enough but I have prepared myself for all the possible outcomes. We have an appointment with the best oncologist in the city tomorrow. But this wait is killing me. I need answers. No matter how hard difficult they maybe to swollow, I need to know the possibilities of what this could lead too. Good or bad..I need to know.

Does a tumor really grow that fast and also starts to spread in less than a years time? what are we looking at here? Any advice will be appreciated. My mother has thought me everything, but she dint teach me how to live without her. I need her to be with me as long as possible.

Response from Dr. Young

Hello and thanks for posting.

I'm sorry to learn of your mother's health situation.

First, to your questions. Yes, tumors can grow very rapidly in some cases; in others (especially types like ovarian cancer), the tumor can get a rapid head start before symptoms indicate a problem.

What's usually most important early in the process is trying to determine the type of tumor- this frequently involves a biopsy of some sort; followed by what's called staging (determining the extent of the tumor and metastatic spread). Once that's determined, a thoughtful and informed discussion about treatment options and prognosis can be had.

No matter what, I can appreciate that this is a very challenging time for you and your mother. Do your best to be supportive of her, and of her wishes; help her to obtain the best treatments- be they curative or palliative.

Be well, BY



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