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Doctor made me feel worse..

Linnoix

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I wrote in previously about having an apparent endometrial polyp found during a fertility exam.. an HSG. The nurses assured me it’s not cancerous over and over again. I believed them and then my anxiety started getting the best of me. Today, I had a phone call appointment with my doctor who looked at the images and can’t confirm it’s a polyp. She said either a fibroid or polyp but most likely polyp. This purpose of this phone call was to make a plan for my next IVF cycle. I asked her just for peace of mind, if she thinks this is something malignant or a tumor? There was a long pause and then she said “Let’s hope not.” I started to panic and couldn’t get anything else out of my mouth. I’m so confused that the PA and nurse were telling me to not even let the word tumor cross my mind and that this was nothing and the doctor herself just says “let’s hope not” Those are two very different attitudes.

She isn’t sure it’s a polyp but she said it was sessile and the measurements were 1 x 9.. cannot remember if it’s mm or cm. I’ve had mild mid cycle bleeding for months. A transvaginal ultrasound in March found nothing. The nurse last week mentioned that isn’t odd at all because to diagnose polyps and other things, you need to use saline which wasn’t used in March. I understand endometrial polyps are usually not cancerous but she doesn’t know if it’s a polyp. So what is it?! This has made my mind wander and I’ve convinced myself it’s a uterine sarcoma. I didn’t even have to look that up because i know all about them from previous health anxiety researches. I’m calling the nurse team tomorrow but right now I’m trying to work my way down from a panic attack.
 

mollyfin

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Okay, so an actual gyn/onc looked at my scans once and pronounced it a 25% chance of being a uterine sarcoma. Difference is I didnt have a tiny little growth; I had a melon-sized tumor displaying potentially malignant characteristics. Luckily it just turned out to be an irregular fibroid.

All your evidence points to a benign polyp. I totally get how bad HA is. But a doctor not saying something definitely isn't cancer doesn't mean anything. I once asked a doctor if my hearing loss could be brain tumor related. His response was "well let's not jump to that right away. We won't put that first on the list." That's not a no. And I didn't have a brain tumor. Just an enlarged vestibular aqueduct. Just because a doctor doesn't say "it's definitely not cancer" doesn't mean it's anything to worry about.
 

Jonathan123

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This raises question that has always been in my mind. Why do people, and especially health professionals, use words that can upset anyone with HA. Because they have no idea of the damage they cause. In the UK almost every night on TV there are adverts from the NHS asking us if we have this or that symptom. To anyone with HA this can be frightening. Words of encouragement are needed, not concentrating on symptoms. But how can they understand when they have not been there? Vague answers sometime leave doubt in the mind. I appreciate it is not always possible to give definite answers, but a negative response does no good at all. Leaving people waiting a long time for test results is another problem. Apprehension in HA can be a real bogey, Words have power, as many have found out, and we need to be careful with words.
 

Linnoix

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This raises question that has always been in my mind. Why do people, and especially health professionals, use words that can upset anyone with HA. Because they have no idea of the damage they cause. In the UK almost every night on TV there are adverts from the NHS asking us if we have this or that symptom. To anyone with HA this can be frightening. Words of encouragement are needed, not concentrating on symptoms. But how can they understand when they have not been there? Vague answers sometime leave doubt in the mind. I appreciate it is not always possible to give definite answers, but a negative response does no good at all. Leaving people waiting a long time for test results is another problem. Apprehension in HA can be a real bogey, Words have power, as many have found out, and we need to be careful with words.
I completely agree. I know she can’t tell me that 100% this is fine because she needs to protect herself and she truly doesn’t know. I totally understand that. I just feel there could have been a different way she could have said that. I hate to tell doctors I have health anxiety because then i’m afraid i’m not going to be taken seriously. It sucks. I did call the nurse line this morning to get some more clarification. I just don’t know how this went from “probably a polyp to let’s hope it’s not a tumor.” so confusing and frustrating. I am sitting here freaking out where my doctor might not even think anything is wrong. This communication SUCKS.
 

MARCC

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Once particular time a number of years ago I was having an issue with an eye, and I made an appointment with my ophthalmologist's office. My regular ophthalmologist was not there, so I saw an associate. She did an exam and asked if I was having headaches. I said no and I asked why she asked. She said one of my optic nerves was bigger than the other, and if I was having headaches, it could mean I have a brain tumor. I was pissed and next time I saw my regular ophthalmologist, I told him what she said, and he said one of my optic nerves has always been bigger than the other. I than said that she should not have told me that I may have a brain tumor unless I really have one for sure as it scared the crap out of me.
 

mollyfin

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It's not their job to manage our anxiety; it's ours.
 

Linnoix

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Okay, so an actual gyn/onc looked at my scans once and pronounced it a 25% chance of being a uterine sarcoma. Difference is I didnt have a tiny little growth; I had a melon-sized tumor displaying potentially malignant characteristics. Luckily it just turned out to be an irregular fibroid.

All your evidence points to a benign polyp. I totally get how bad HA is. But a doctor not saying something definitely isn't cancer doesn't mean anything. I once asked a doctor if my hearing loss could be brain tumor related. His response was "well let's not jump to that right away. We won't put that first on the list." That's not a no. And I didn't have a brain tumor. Just an enlarged vestibular aqueduct. Just because a doctor doesn't say "it's definitely not cancer" doesn't mean it's anything to worry about.
Yeah unfortunately I went down a rabbit hole of uterine sarcoma. I’m sorry you had to go through that and I’m glad (glad is not the right word because fibroids totally and completely suck and cause enough problems on their own, but you get what I mean) it was not uterine sarcoma. I also agree that she probably didn’t even think anything of it when she said “Let’s hope not”. I know she didn’t mean it in the way that I’m taking it. I’m over analyzing it completely and dare I say, my health anxiety brain was almost looking for trouble. I did talk to a nurse at my clinic who said if they thought it was anything serious, I would not be waiting weeks. She was super reassuring. I’m trying to use my tools i’ve learned the past few months and put my trust in her. She’s been an IVF nurse for years and I feel confident in what she says to me. They would’ve called me back in immediately if they thought it was something super serious. I just need to keep telling myself that.

I’ve kind of moved on from uterine sarcoma and now my brain is thinking it’s just endometrial/uterine cancer in general. I’m 26 so I need to rationalize with myself and remember although nothing is 100%…my chances are probably low. The only technical symptom I have is mild mid cycle spotting around when I ovulate. I just thing I would have more signs. Idk. Thanks for your reply, it did help.
 
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