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A1A - what are the alternatives to hysterectomy?
Caroline R
2 Posts

I have a total hysterectomy scheduled for next week and I am having deep misgivings. I was struggling with panic attacks before my cancer diagnosis and I feel that my cognitive function was so impaired that I have been sleep walking into this. I only just got off antidepressants and the withdrawals that came with it and I finally feel like my brain is starting to work. I don't feel that I questioned the surgeon enough about alternative treatment and I certainly don't feel that I knew enough about the risks and impacts to have given informed consent. I just had CT scans done on Sunday and there are no plans for a PET scan or MRI. Does anyone have any words of wisdom?

5 Replies
31 Posts
All decisions are based on a unique set of circumstances. There are many things to take into consideration. There probably is a supportive care department in your cancer centre. You should have access to a psychiatrist and a counsellor. They will be able to help you through this decision making. They are experts in mental health and cancer diagnoses.

Many cancer patients get a second opinion from another oncologist for more peace of mind. At my cancer centre in Hamilton, Ontario, their team of gyne-oncologists and radiation oncologists work together in deciding on the best treatment.

I am on anti-depressants, and found it very helpful to talk to the psychiatrist in supportive care at the cancer centre, as well as the therapist.

Hope that helps.
218 Posts
Hi Caroline:

Catlover had some good suggestions for you. You could also discuss your surgeon's report with your family doctor to give you some comfort. Perhaps he/she can help with the panic attacks as well. Getting a cancer diagnisis is very difficult news,

I would not wait on the surgery as every case is discussed by a panel of doctors. With an A1A diagnosis, the cancer has been found early, and there may not be any need for further treatment.
The pathology report after surgery will determine this. I did not have an MRI until after surgery.

Best of luck with everything.
jlo - Stage 4 uterine cancer survivor
1540 Posts
Caroline R‍ I am sorry to hear about your diagnosis and the accompanying stress and anxiety over your surgery.

The suggestion to call your family to discuss is a good one and a great place
to start to understand the rationale.

I did not have cervical cancer but did have ovarian cancer and had a total hysterectomy which included the removal of my cervix. I was in hospital one night and had very little pain. I recovered well.

I know making decisions about treatment can be daunting but know we are here to listen and support you.

Hi, sorry to hear of your diagnosis. I am a 2x survivor of cervical cancer, stage 2b. I wanted a hysterectomy, but was refused. Only met my oncologist once and I requested the surgery. He said no and my radiation oncologist said they would treat it aggressively. The first time I had 46 radiation treatments, 6 weeks of chemo, and 3 weeks of brachial. Nine years later it's as if I had a total hysterectomy. The only thing left inside of me are my tubal clips. I no longer even have a cervix. This was all done at the Tom Baker in Calgary. Hopefully being diagnosed early will avoid some of the chronic long term side effects of the treatments. I wish you all the best in your treatment and complete healing physically and mentally.
31 Posts
At the beginning my diagnosis of cancer, they weren't sure if it was endometrial (uterine) or cervical cancer becaise the cancer tumour spread over both. The doctor booked the hysterectomy, just in case it was endometrial, but had said that for cervical cancer they tend not to do the surgery, only chemo/radiation. I said, what if you just want it out, and she said that they would take that into consideration. In the end, they didn't know for sure, and were leaning towards endometrial cancer, which the pathology of the surgery showed to be correct. That was at Juravinski Cancer Centre in Hamilton Ontario.
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