Had a Contrast CT Scan and it opened a can of worms
Posted in the Diverticulitis Forum
Since: Jul 10
#1 Jul 10, 2010
After going to urgent care for abdominal pain, I was sent for a CT scan which revealed a thickening of the splenic colon wall. In addition they found cysts and something abnormal with my cervical vault (whatever the heck that means). Doc says it is normal to find these sorts of things in a ct scan, but that they cannot ignore them and must follow up. For now I am being treated for my first flare of diverticulitis with Cipro and Flagyl. But I also have to go for a pelvic ultrasound to figure out about the cervical issue, and in about 6 weeks after I heal from the DI I have to have a colonoscopy to see about that wall thickening and to determine for sure if the pain was caused by DI and not something more serious (like cancer). The antibiotics are making me feel fuzzy headed and stupid, sick and fatigued. I have back pain and still have vague pain in my abdomen. Its been 1 week.
Has anyone else out there gone through all these throws and scares after having a CT scan? Hopefully I can find some comfort in numbers. Up until now, I have been totally healthy. I am 49 yo.
#2 Jul 11, 2010
Thickening of the splenic colon wall (a certain portion of your colon) is probably just the visible evidence of your diverticulitis; it's typical for the disease. The rest of the stuff I don't want to guess at, as I'm not a doctor.
However, in answer to your question "Has anyone else..." the answer is yes. I ended up in the ER with my first bout of diverticulitis about 3 weeks ago (I'm 55). The CAT scan found a 2 cm x 3 cm suspicious growth on my ovary, which subsequent transvaginal ultrasound labeled "high probability for malignancy." I had no symptoms from it. They originally had scheduled me a normal follow-up appointment at the end of August, but they changed that and I see the surgeon Tuesday.
So yeah, it happened to me. I consider that if it IS ovarian cancer and caught at a very early stage, then I will thank my lucky stars I inherited my dad's screwed-up colon - since it will be the reason it was caught early, not at the usually too-late stage where it's symptomatic.
Yeah, it's all scary as hell. I can't bring myself to read anything on the web about ovarian cancer; rather spend the next few days in possibly happier ignorance, know what I mean?
Best of luck to you and best wishes for your recovery and continued health.
#3 Jul 11, 2010
I have been thru this type of thing too 6 years ago- found cyst on the ovary. The primary care doc scared me out of my wits- she thought it was cancer. Fortunately the gyn doc she sent me to didnt think so and offered me the option of ultrasounds every 3 months or surgery to remove the ovary. I opted for the watchful waiting and it never got bigger and blood tests stayed normal.
#4 Jul 14, 2010
I've now been to see the surgeon.
She said since my CA-125 test was negative that we should wait. She also said that since I had a dermoid cyst on my other ovary (fist-sized, which was removed about 30 years ago), chances are that this is another dermoid cyst, so we can check it every three months. However, my transvaginal ultrasound said "High probability of malignancy." And the treatment of choice for dermoid cysts is removal, before they enlarge (possibly causing problems in nearby organs), degenerate causing infection, or rupture, which necessitates emergency surgery.
I told her, I want it out. Surgery is mid August.
What I DIDN'T tell her was, according to authorities, the CA-125 test should NOT be used as a DIAGNOSTIC tool for ovarian cancer - only to test if treatments are working in a KNOWN CASE of ovarian cancer that does cause CA-125 to rise. The CA-125 test has too many false positives and false negatives to be useful - or safe - in diagnosis.
Everybody else's mileage may vary, but it is my opinion that nobody should rely on the CA-125 test to diagnose ovarian cancer. I am not a doctor and don't play one on TV, but due to long experience/exposure on my job I understand terminology well enough to do research at reliable and technical web sites and books.
#5 Jul 19, 2010
You're absolutely correct about CA-125, it is not a diagnostic tool, unfortunately too many doctors don't seem to know that. In 1992, I had peritonitis caused by a ruptured ovarian cyst. In the hospital (if you want to call it that), the gynecologist (who should find another job) ordered a CA-125. HELLO? this test measures INFLAMMATION and what happens during peritonitis: INFLAMMATION. Long story short, test came back very elevated, went to gynecologic oncology at North Shore University Hospital, went into surgery thinking I was dead and with a five year old daughter, came out with ENDOMETRIOSIS. Ruptured cyst should have suggested this, no?? I told them TAKE IT ALL OUT, I never wanted to hear the words "ovarian cancer" again, and I always hated having my period anyway. You're right: TAKE IT OUT.
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