This is a blood test often used for diagnosing ovarian cancer. However, because it is a “tumor marker” it can detect other abnormal tumor cells in the body. False positive results are common. We routinely see abnormal elevations when patients are diagnosed with Fibroid tumors, adenomyosis and endometriosis. If you get a result outside the normal range, this does not mean you have cancer…ask your Doctor about the outcome of other diagnostic tests performed.
Traditional medicine has routinely rcommended removal of the uterus, hysterectomy, for uterine and ovarian malignancy, however physicians also advocate hysterectomy for benign diseases like fibroids, adenomyosis, and endometriosis. Recent studies (LA Times article, published August 10, 2009 entitled “Staying Fertile after Cancer”) on Stage 1 ovarian cancer patients have found that preserving the uterus and unaffected ovary have the same 5 year survival rates as removing all organs. If medicine is changing to reduce hysterectomies for certain cancers, lets hope they will eventually see the need to prevent hysterectomy for benign diseases as well.
Many of our patients try supplements and herbal formulas prior to seeking a medical consultation. Although these therapies can help reduce symptoms temporarily, they will become ineffective over time as the disease spreads. Supplements and herbal formulas are not regulated by the FDA and therefore quality, strength and dosage cannot be guaranteed. Delaying appropriate treatment can sometimes be detrimental. Fibroid tumors, adenomyosis and endometriosis all require surgery is remove the disease…treating symptoms does nothing to treat the condition or the tumors. Using these alternative therapies, after surgery , may be helpful in preventing recurrence, but should not be the only source of treatment. Consult your physician and do some research about what is the best course of treatment for your disease.
We have rececently received many calls and emails about this disease. First let me say,we do NOT recommend hysterectomy for endometriosis. This is a disease that requires aggressive treatment, but removing the uterus is not one of them. Most patients get labelled with this diagnosis based solely on signs and symptoms ie: painful periods, cramping, bloating. Endometriosis is a microscopic condition…it does not show up on diagnostic testing like ultrasound, MRI or CTScan. Your doctor must be able to see the implants to confirm the presents of the disease. In order to confirm a diagnosis the patient will need surgery. If you think you might have this disease, contact your doctor for a consultation. Early diagnosis and treatment are critical with Endometriosis.
Many physicians currently advocate hysterectomy as the best form of treatment for
endometriosis. I disagree. Once endometrial cells have implanted within the pelvis,
removing the uterus has no effect on the current condition. Implants need to be destroyed to reduce pain and
cramping…..as long as the patient still has her ovaries, monthly flow of estrogen will fuel
the spread of the existing pelvic implants. Diagnosing and some treatment can be performed via a minimally invasive laparoscope that puts a camera in the abdomen near the belly button. This technique can be effective for treating early stages of Endo. Unfortunately, my practice often sees women with much more severe and advanced cases and the scope has too limited a field of view. An open surgery allows the entire abdomen and pelvis to be examined with laser treatment of all areas, not just those limited with the scope. The best course of treatment in advanced stages is an open surgery, not laparoscopy, with aggressive laser therapy.