Studies have shown that there is an increased cancer rate in people with RSD. I personally can atest to this. In the spring of 2007, I started bleeding vaginally very heavily (post menopause). I had not yet found a gyn here in Orlando. I called every gyn and none were taking new Medicare patients. My PCP got me into see someone. An endometrial biopsy was done and it showed abnormal cells. There was a sign in this doctor's office stating that he didn't carry Malpractice Insurance; which should have set of red lights and sent me running, but my PCP recommended him. A hysterectomy was recommended. This doctor took my uterus and ovaries but left my cervix (he never did a pap). When the pathology for my uterus came back, it showed stage 1 cancer. At this appointment, he tells me that since he did the surgery laproscopically he had to cut up the uterus and since the endometrial biopsy only showed "abnormal cells", he didn't do a wash. A wash is done to be sure that any cancer cells are washed out of your body. He then suggested that I go to an oncologist for follow up. I was devistated.
I went to the oncologist who wanted the pathology repeated before he decided what to do next. He also did a pap. The second pathology report also showed cancer but the pap also showed "abnormal cells". The oncologist said that he needed to do a second hysterectomy to remove my cervix, lymph nodes and to biopsy my organs up to my aorta to be sure that cells didn't spread from the inital surgery. By now it is October 2007 and I have the second surgery. I felt like I was cut from stem to stern due to the lymph node removal and biopsies.
Surgery can cause spread of RSD and here I was having a second abdominal surgery in six months. Fortunately with both surgeries I was given Ketamine as part of the anethesia and had very good post op pain management. I was fortunate that there was no further spread of my RSD.
It is now four years later and I just had my annual exam. I have one more annual exam in 2012, and if all is still clear, I will be discharged from the oncologist's care.
For those of us with RSD, we need to be sure to have mamograms, paps, prostate screenings, etc. to be sure that this increased risk of cancer that comes with RSD doesn't affect you.