Always fun to have multiple health issues, especially when they can conflict with each other.
I was diagnosed with early stage breast cancer in March, which I have included in my stats here. Didn't need chemo, finished radiation end of August. Had my first appointment last month with Medical Onc to talk about Tamoxifen.
Here's the thing, I am extremely nearsighted and am at risk for developing (wet) macular degeneration.. I had already been seeing a retina specialist for my eyes, and my retinas are showing "precursor" symptoms. So Medical Onc is also concerned about Tamoxifen's potential effects on my eyes.
Then there's the gyno issues I've been having since the beginning of the year. 2 bad UTIs (and this was before BC diagnosis), urinary leakage, frequency, etc, Dark brown spotting between periods (I'm 52 years old but still menstruating regularly).
I had two transvaginal ultrasounds in the spring that both showed a large 5.8cm cyst on my left ovary (I know from previous tests that's been there at least a few years.). As well as a 1.7cm polyp in my uterus that did not show up on an ultrasound I had two years ago.
Last but certainly not least, I have a strong family history of cancer. Maternal grandmother had breast cancer at age 59, but lived to be 94. My mother died at age 73 of primary thyroid AND primary lung cancer that had really metastasized by the time they found it. (She hadn't smoked in 40 years). And her older brother died in his 30's of pancreatic cancer. I had a pretty full genetic testing panel that came back negative, but still.
Finally saw a gyno surgeon today. She said given that my BC was 100%ER+ my ovaries are probably really pumping out estrogen. She definitely wants to remove the left ovary, especially since it has that large cyst, and the uterine polyp. Both would of course be sent to the lab for pathology testing. Her question to me is what about my right ovary? If we remove it as well, she feels that would notably reduce my risk of BC recurrence, and eliminate my risk of ovarian cancer which could also be important given my family's cancer history. However doing so would throw me into "surgical menopause" with its SEs.
She wants me to have another ultrasound so we have all the updated info on that, and then meet with her again to discuss our plan. She seemed to be leaning towards having both ovaries out, for the reasons above. But said my leaving the right one in could be a reasonable decision so as to avoid the surgical menopause and its effects.
My primary goal here is to find that right balance working with her so I can avoid taking Tamoxifen. Aside from all the bad side effects I've seen mentioned here, and my Medical Onc discussed with me, I am very worried about hurting my eyes. The retinas are slowly getting worse already, and the last thing I want to do is accelerate that problem.
So can anyone share thoughts, opinions, experiences here? On having my ovaries removed in general, and one versus both?
3/15/2016, DCIS/IDC: Tubular, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
6/1/2016 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary
7/24/2016 Whole-breast: Breast
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