can an ultrasound miss a tumour?

How foolproof are ultrasounds? Here is my history:

(after intermittent pain symptoms from Jan last yr)

April: Transvaginal ultrasound - 3cm complex cyst right ovary

June: Ultrasound - cyst was not noted on right

Sept: Laprascope removes endo (surgery was exploratory for my painbut dr found endo - yahoo I thought I was cured but the pain didn't go away) - surgeon noted cyst on right ovary

Dec: ultrasound - seemingly normal ultrasound

White blood cell count was high in Dec so I was treated with antibiotics for a possible bladder infection but that didn't stop the symptoms

Jan: MRI - 3cm cyst with nodules and septations, suspicious of a tumour.
follow up is another transvaginal ultrasound in 6wks and MRI in 3mos

I just wonder if the right cyst was there all along as stronger tests both detected a 3cm cyst- is it possible it was 'hiding' or not noteworthy on the reg ultrasounds? And if it was, would a cyst be the same size from April to this Jan? All of the tests were done by different techs.

I am sick of tests. With a colonoscopy coming up I am wondering when I should just give up and concede that I have to live with this low, heavy burning pain/pressure and fatigue, and constant urination daily (sometimes I feel I have to "go" but nothing comes. I have only had breakthrough bleeding once in Nov, but I bled the whole month. I am seeing an acupuncturist and a naturopath.

Have any of you had similar symptoms? Should I push my Dr's to get these follow up tests sooner? I want to put ovarian cancer out of my mind. How/Can I definitively rule it out?

I sincerely thank you for any input so I can perhaps put my mind to rest and concentrate on how I will overcome/live with these symptoms. You are all so brave.

btw I don't fit into any category that would pre-dispose me to this disease. I am 30, 2 small kids, no cancer in family (except my great grandpa had some kind of stomach cancer). I'm on the pill, have been since I was 16. The dr's said maybe it is IBS, but at least she is working with me.

xo

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What kind of doctor are you seeing? Is he a gyn, or a urologist? You might consider seeing a gynecologic oncologist, who will definitely check the symptoms for ovca. Has anyone ever suggested a CA-125 blood test or a CTscan? Those are the basics for ovca. Sounds like you should get those since they may give some answers. I'd think about getting another opinion if you want to ease your mind, and a gyn/onc is the one to get. I hope you get some answers. You are young and have a long way to go. I wish you good luck.

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Have you physically seen the reports.Not just the written ones but the films themselves.I have gotten real good at reading my CT scans. Also found out going to the same clinic for tests can be very important ask them to pull previous tests to compare or if at different clinic pick up tests and ask them to compare.
If your Dr is willing ask her to take a look at the films themselves and talk them over with you.Can one tech see something another doesn't yes, but the films put side to side are usually not wrong.
I kept complaining about something that was causing me pain and odd feelings .I'd had a number of surgeries and was getting a ct scan about every four months due to my cancer. Some called it others didn't , but one tech said do you have a feeding tube in . No funny I see something.
His opinion was not on the test. So I went and got all the tests and reports and started looking and by golly there was something there.Six ct scans 5 surgeries and it was only mentioned once.I took the reports to my oncologist and actually managed to show him the thing in my belly it was there and he could feel it. He ordered another ct again it wasn't on the report. He decided to do an exploratory with me awake and by golly there it was . He was so apologetic it was part of an experimental port he had put in and taken out over a year ago.He sent it to the radiologist.
As for cysts they can I believe shrink or break and then reform.So anything is possible. Just keep talking to your Dr. and being as honest about your fears as possible.A ca125 is not a full proof test for ovarian cancer and your insurance probably won't pay for it ,but it might give you some peace of mind.
Wishing you the best.

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DO NOT GIVE UP! If your guts tell you that something is wrong you are obligated to listen. Keep going until you find someone to listen to you and take you seriously. You owe it to yourself.

I used to think that the discomfort and pain was just my lot in life and that I needed to learn to live with it and get on with things. I gave up for a time too until I could not ignore it any longer. Stupid me, I had ovca the entire time.
Take carerof you Fireball

Melissa

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PS

I dont fit in to the category of predisposition either- got it anyway. Dont let that deter you

melissa

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Push for a CA125 yes there can be false positive results but an ultrasound CAN miss a suspicious mass, so can a plain (no contrast) CT scan. I do not want to be alarmist, but I worked in diagnostic imaging it is not an exact science when dealing with soft tissue. The MRI is likely to shed more light.

Bottom line if you are in pain chase the cause do not just live with it. Never be afraid to ell your doctor what tests you want in order to relieve your concerns. Be an active participant in your own care.

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Sometimes the tumor can hide behind the ovary and is difficult to see. That was happened with mine but the tech was good and was able to see it.

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Have they done a CA125? My tumor did show up clearly on a CT scan with contrast.

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Sorry to be so forgetful....fluid filled ovarian cysts can come and go. I had those in my 40s when still menstruating and they would come and go depending on the stage of my cycle.

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When I had a transvaginal ultrasound, the tech could not even find my right ovary. My left ovary was too big to miss and was cancerous. When I had surgery, my right ovary turned out to have cancer, also. So, yes, tests can miss tumors.

Just to second all the other ladies, keep pushing until you are satisfied with the answers.

Best wishes.

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Don't give up. Listen to your gut feeling. Ultra sounds can be wrong. Nothing is perfect. People think they are having a boy and turns out to be a girl and vise versa. CT scan or MRI would be more accurate.

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Thanks for your advice everyone. I am seeing my doctor in the morning and will ask about the CA125, and I want to see if I can get my tests moved up. I did have an MRI earlier this month, and that is when they found this cyst that looks like the 'cystic neoplasm'.

My Gyn got the results today and she isn't concerned about it and says she thinks it will resolve, but wants me to keep her posted on my results.

I am under the primary care of my general pracitioner right now and feel abandoned by my gyn as she has already referred me to the chronic pelvic pain clinic, where they teach you to cope and live with the pain when they are finished investigating it. At least my gp is not giving up yet.

I will also ask about a contrast CT, maybe that will clear things up for me. Honestly, I am so frustrated, I don't know quite what to think. I have never experienced a chronic condition like this before where my life is affected daily. I just want to know what the heck is going on with me.

Again, thank you so much for your input and suggestions. I will take them with me to the dr tomorrow.

xo

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ps has anyone experienced a higher than normal white blood cell count? we've already ruled out a bladder infection after an unsuccessful round of antibiotics....

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I should not have gotten it either but did so please dont let that stop you.

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Have your gp refer you to a Gyn/Oncologist. They know for sure how to look and rule out ovarian cancer for your peace of mind, or save your life.
We all have been told so many idiot diagnosis', just to be found to have a late stage disease, time to get to the bottom of this. Edith

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Dont wont to worry you, but yes, the doctor in the hospital said, if your gyn does not have a good ultrasound, or not a lot of experience it can happen. Happend to me. After a few month with my regular doc I went to my gyn. She made an ultrasound. She did not see anything wrong with my ovaries, but she found fluid in the stomach, and she sent me to the hospital, thinking I had appendix. At the hospital they looked with their ultrasound, and said rightaway, there was something wrong. Turned out the ovary is normally about 5g, the tumor around it 95g! the size was 9x7cm,about 3,5x2,7 inches. So I could not understand how my gyn could have missed it. I would insist on a CA125, can really stop you from worrying.

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colonoscopy is going to show inside of your organs, not what is going on in your abdomen. your symptoms are the same as mine, and mine were acute onset in june of 2006, and july of 2006 i had debulking for stage 3c, 2 tumors one behind uterus and one in diaghram. lots of fluid, all insides removed, cervic, uterus, tubes, ovaries, appendix, omentum, repaired my diaphram to due a tear from when they reeled off the tumor. if you had abdominal surgery, i don't see how a doc could miss cancer. but if they are showing up things now, and you have all these symptoms, i would find a good surgical gyno onocologist to see right away.

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My gyne had me get a colonoscopy when he was running all the tests as well- he wanted to be sure of any bowel involvement before sending me up to teh specialist. It saved time later as I was all set when I got there with the exception of a few blood tests.
Im glad that you are having the colonoscopy.

Melissa

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I don't want to worry you either but yes, an ultrasound can miss a tumor. Like the other ladies said...keep pushing for answers.

In my case I had an ultrasound when I was 9.5 weeks pregnant and a mass was detected on my left ovary...at that point we did not know what it was and was just monitoring it.
Well...3 weeks later I went to a Perinatologist to have some testing done and mentioned that my OB had detected a mass on my left ovary. I asked the Ultrasound Tech at the Perinatologists office if she detected a mass of any kind on that ovary...she said, "none at all...it looks like a healthy ovary to me".
It wasn't fine...8weeks later I had surgery and the tumor was the size of cantalope and had spread to the fallopian tube.
I am very thankful my regular OB found it and kept insisting that we monitor it etc. -- had I not had surgery my outcome would have been much different.

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I also kept having ultrasounds and the nurse kept telling me they are cysts. I made an appointment to see the doctor who spent one minute with me to tell me the radioligist is conservative and to not worry. i was not followed up at all by the doctor. I did not have any history of cancer in my family. About a year later I found a lump in my neck which led to a biopsy and being told I have stage 4 ovarian cancer. I am not telling you that you have cancer, I am telling you to get a second opinion.

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I have my transvag ultrasound booked for Feb.2nd, and waiting to hear on MRI and colonoscopy. I think the colonoscopy is to rule out the bowel as the source of these symptoms. My doc is also referring me to a gyn-onologist so that someone more qualified will review the results. She also sent me for ca-125 and is checking my white blood cell count and some other blood/urine tests. I hope this next round of tests will give me some answers. Thanks for your support, you are all going through much worse than I and I hope that I do not have to join your club, but I do sincerely appreciate the help and advice in my search for answers.

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