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Thread: Ovarian cancer visible on CT scan?

  1. #1
    Newbie New User
    Join Date
    Oct 2019

    Ovarian cancer visible on CT scan?

    I'm 36 years old and am worried I may have ovarian cancer.

    I've been having symptoms for almost six months now (abdominal pain, weight loss, rib and back pain among others) and have been to multiple doctors trying to get a diagnosis. I've had an abdominal ultrasound, colonoscopy, and abdominal and pelvic CT scan all of which have come back clear. The docs have all told me "everything looks fine" but I know something is wrong because the symptoms keep returning and they're getting worse and spreading.

    My CT scan which came back clear was taken about three weeks ago. But when my symptoms returned this past week, they seemed to be much stronger and wide spread than before. I know ovarian cancer may not show up on a CT scan if it's smaller and hasn't spread, but I can't figure out:

    1. What stage ovarian cancer is going to be big enough to be visible on a CT scan?
    2. How quickly does ovarian cancer grow? Could a small tumor have grown substantially in 3-4 weeks?

    I have an appointment this week with my gyn this week for an ultrasound but obviously I'm a nervous wreck. Just wondering if anyone happens to know these answers.

  2. #2
    Moderator Top User jorola's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Hello Tmsaz
    I am sorry you are so young and worried. A CT scan, particularly a PET scan, highlights abnormal cells BUT this does not necessary mean these cells are cancerous. Only a biopsy of the cells can determine if they are cancerous. So to answer your questions, only once a biopsy has confirmed the presence of cancer can a PET scan assist with confirmation of size and growth,all the way from extremely tiny masses and up. Although I am not aware of an ovarian cancer that can grow that fast, this would be a question for an oncologist or your gyn.
    Your symptoms of abdominal pain, weight loss, rib and back pain are so general they can be attributed to a host of medical conditions from fibromyalgia to gyn problems and everything in between. Your doctors will work they way through eliminating conditions until they have figured it out. Sometimes it is a process and you need to be patient as the doctors do their best to help you.
    However you need to also take comfort and be excited in the fact that no abnormal findings have been found so far. This likely means what you have/are experiencing is something have less sinister and much easier to treat than cancer. Not the other way around.
    Continue to follow up with your doctors and may your test continue to show negative for cancer.
    Wife to husband with squamous lung cancer stage 3 b
    dx - April 20/14
    tx started May 20/14 - radiation and chemo
    June 23 - chemo finished
    July 4 - radiation finished
    July 8 - PET scan shows tumor almost gone, lymph nodes back to normal
    Married July 19/14
    Sept 9/14 - repeat can shows tumor continues to shrink more, no new spots. New coughing and pain due to chest infection or side effect of radiation.
    Sept 19/14 - not infection but pneumonitis, place on dex for 4 weeks
    Oct 22/14 - now off of dex and facing even more symptoms of withdrawal
    Dec 16/14 - pretty much nothing left but a scar
    April 7/15 - ditto scan and screw you stats
    Oct 6/15 - more scarring but still cancer still gone
    Feb 2016 -scan the same
    Aug 2016 - more of the same
    Aug 2017 - and ditto
    Aug 2018 - 4 yrs NED - no evidence of disease
    Aug 2019 - 5 yrs NED and discharged from cancer clinic!!!!!


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