What exactly will I learn from the CT scan?

Posted by hqtogo @hqtogo, Sep 8 5:59am

I had an ultrasound Friday and I knew something was wrong. It was ordered as follow up to an ultrasound I had during a routine visit that indicated borderline endometrial thickening. The technician could not hide her concern and she seemed dismayed when I told her I had no bleeding. Monday I received a call from the Dr. Who informed me they highly suspect ovarian cancer. So in 24 hrs I’ve been booked for a CT scan on Sat. And blood work which happened today. The oncology referral has already been sent. I’m in a real spin here. So much in so little time. I can’t really identify any overt symptoms accept my appetite which hasn’t resulted in any great weight loss. I really need some words of encouragement cause I can’t understand how this abrupt turn in the road happened without any warning. What will I learn from the CT scan, will it definitely identify the cancer? Will it rule it out? How can they be so sure it’s cancer based on the ultrasound?

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Gynecologic Cancers group.

I'm so sorry this happened to you and that it came without warning. They can not tell for certain if a particular growth is cancer from an ultrasound, but wording like "highly suspicious for ovarian cancer" means you should prepare yourself for the likelihood that that's what it is. The main purpose of the CT scan to check whether a growth has spread and, if so, where. The CT scan cannot rule out cancer. If the growth has not spread, they still will not know exactly what the lesion seen on ultrasound is. However, if it has spread, then it is cancer.

You can handle it, whatever it is. My own emotional response may well be abnormal, but after the initial shock wore off, I have been reacting to cancer fairly similarly to any other problem. There are aggravations and frustrations, but you keep going on to the next thing. My friends and family have mostly been acting the same as before (as I prefer. I have been trying to discourage "how are you" interactions as I find them annoying.)

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@val64

I'm so sorry this happened to you and that it came without warning. They can not tell for certain if a particular growth is cancer from an ultrasound, but wording like "highly suspicious for ovarian cancer" means you should prepare yourself for the likelihood that that's what it is. The main purpose of the CT scan to check whether a growth has spread and, if so, where. The CT scan cannot rule out cancer. If the growth has not spread, they still will not know exactly what the lesion seen on ultrasound is. However, if it has spread, then it is cancer.

You can handle it, whatever it is. My own emotional response may well be abnormal, but after the initial shock wore off, I have been reacting to cancer fairly similarly to any other problem. There are aggravations and frustrations, but you keep going on to the next thing. My friends and family have mostly been acting the same as before (as I prefer. I have been trying to discourage "how are you" interactions as I find them annoying.)

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@hqtogo, I can imagine your concern and appreciate the encouragement you received from @naturegirl5 and @val64, who know first hand what this scary "waiting" and "testing" time is like. @odette @pbprice @starko @pauldale4 can also add their experiences and encouragement.

As this article from Mayo Clinic outlines:
– Diagnosing Ovarian Cancer https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/ovarian-cancer/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20375946

"CT scans of your abdomen and pelvis may help determine the size, shape and structure of your ovaries."
"Sometimes your doctor can't be certain of your diagnosis until you undergo surgery to remove an ovary and have it tested for signs of cancer."

So CT scan is the next step. All the best with the CT scan tomorrow. Do you have a followup appointment with your doctor to review the results? We're here if you get the results before your appointment with your doctor.

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This is one of my questions too. I was told today that my new symptoms at age 68 of recent abdominal bloating, burping, and gastric reflux could mean ovarian cancer or a GI issue of possible Celiac disease, so I am being tested for both. My CT scans are scheduled in a little over a week. I wondered too exactly what they would tell concerning possible Ovarian cancer. Working on getting my EGD and Colonoscopy scheduled.I have my uterus and ovaries. I had my children when I was 32 and 36.
Needless to say, I am pretty stressed but cannot tell my children until I am certain of the diagnosis. I have essentially no family other than them. I was glad to find this blog as it may help me answer questions until then.
I had a gastric schwanoma tumor removed in 2oo7 as an incidental finding during an EGD and Colonoscopy.
I was rescoped 10 yrs later and nothing new was found.
My Mother is my only living female relative and is a terrible historian, but as far as I know no females in my family have ever had any cancers.
My thoughts are with the person who posted this question and hope for a good outcome for you.

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@kayae. Your symptoms could indicate many different things as you wrote. Hoping for you that all the tests you are doing, including the CT, show what's going on. Your mind goes to ovarian cancer. What's the worst it could be? But what if it's not cancer? I've learned to ask myself a question like that. The waiting is very hard and I imagine that your mind comes up with all sorts of things.

So the CT is next? Will you please come back here when you get some results and let me know? I'm here for you.

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@naturegirl5

@kayae. Your symptoms could indicate many different things as you wrote. Hoping for you that all the tests you are doing, including the CT, show what's going on. Your mind goes to ovarian cancer. What's the worst it could be? But what if it's not cancer? I've learned to ask myself a question like that. The waiting is very hard and I imagine that your mind comes up with all sorts of things.

So the CT is next? Will you please come back here when you get some results and let me know? I'm here for you.

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Hi Helen,

Thanks so much for your reply.
I do usually think of worse case scenarios. In this case, all of my symptoms and risk factors are associated with ovarian cancer. However, as you said it doesn't mean that is what I have.
Waiting is always the hardest part for me.
I will certainly let you know how it goes.
I really like your dogs. My dog of 16 yrs. just passed last year.
Trying to keep busy to get my thoughts from going into "Monkey Mind" about this.
I hope you can enjoy some outdoor time this week. It always soothes my spirit.
Kayae

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@kayae

Hi Helen,

Thanks so much for your reply.
I do usually think of worse case scenarios. In this case, all of my symptoms and risk factors are associated with ovarian cancer. However, as you said it doesn't mean that is what I have.
Waiting is always the hardest part for me.
I will certainly let you know how it goes.
I really like your dogs. My dog of 16 yrs. just passed last year.
Trying to keep busy to get my thoughts from going into "Monkey Mind" about this.
I hope you can enjoy some outdoor time this week. It always soothes my spirit.
Kayae

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@kayae. I'm happy I could help.

"Monkey Mind". I first heard this story from Tara Brach. I like her RAIN practice. It helps to keep me from going into "Monkey Mind" too.

Yes, I hope I can get outdoors too. It is soothing and Autumn is my favorite season.

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