OVARIAN CANCER (even in the absence of Ovaries)
THIS IS A MUST TO READ TO THE END
An Eye Opener on Ovarian Cancer
I hope you all
take the time to read this and pass it on to all you
can. Send this to
the women in
your life that you care about.
died of ovarian cancer. Her symptoms were
inconclusive, and she
was treated for everything under the sun until it
was too late. This blood test finally
identified her illness but alas, too late. She wrote
a book to heighten awareness.
is her widower.
KATHY'S STORY: this is the story of Kathy West
As all of you know, I have Primary Peritoneal
Cancer. This cancer has only recently
been identified as its OWN type of cancer, but it is
essentially Ovarian Cancer
Both types of cancer are diagnosed in the same way,
with the "tumor marker"
CA-125 BLOOD TEST, and they are treated in the same
way - surgery to remove
the primary tumor and then chemotherapy with Taxol
Having gone through this ordeal, I want to save
others from the same fate. That is
why I am sending this message to you and hope you
will print it and give it or send it
via E-mail to everybody you know.
One thing I have learned is that each of us must
take TOTAL responsibility for our
own health care. I thought I had done that because I
always had an annual physical
and PAP smear, did a monthly Self-Breast Exam, went
to the dentist at least
twice a year, etc. I even insisted on a
sigmoidoscopy and a bone density test last
year. When I had a total hysterectomy in 1993, I
thought that I did not have to
worry about getting any of the female reproductive
LITTLE DID I KNOW. I don't have ovaries (and they
were HEALTHY when they
were removed), but I have what is essentially
ovarian cancer. Strange, isn't it?
These are just SOME of the things our Doctors never
tell us: ONE out of every
55 women will get OVARIAN or PRIMARY PERITONEAL
The "CLASSIC" symptoms are an ABDOMEN that rather
and CONSTIPATION and/or DIARRHEA.
I had these classic symptoms and went to the doctor.
Because these symptoms
seemed to be "abdominal," I went to a
gastroenterologist. He ran tests that
were designed to determine whether there was a
bacteria infection; these tests
were negative, and I was diagnosed with "Irritable
Bowel Syndrome" I guess I
wou ld have accepted this diagnosis had it not been
for my enlarged abdomen. I
swear to you, it looked like I was 4-5 months
pregnant! I therefore insisted on
They took an X-ray of my abdomen; it was negative. I
was again assured that I
had Irritable Bowel Syndrome and was encouraged to
go on my scheduled month-long
trip to Europe . I couldn't wear any of my slacks or
shorts because I couldn't get
them buttoned, and I KNEW something was radically
wrong. I INSISTED on more
tests, and they reluctantly) scheduled me for a
CT-Scan (just to shut me up, I
think). This is what I mean by "taking charge of our
own health care."
The CT-Scan showed a lot of fluid in my abdomen (NOT
normal). Needless to say, I
had to cancel my trip and have FIVE POUNDS of fluid
drawn off at the hospital
(not a pleasant experience I assure you), but
NOTHING compared to what was
ahead of me.
in the fluid. Finally, finally, finally, the doctor
CA-125 blood test, and I was properly diagnosed.
I HAD THE CLASSIC SYMPTOMS FOR OVARIAN CANCER, AND
SIMPLE CA-125 BLOOD TEST HAD NEVER BEEN RUN ON ME,
not as part of
my annual physical exam and not when I was
symptomatic. This is an inexpensive
and simple blood test!
PLEASE, PLEASE TELL ALL YOUR FEMALE FRIENDS AND
RELATIVES TO INSIST
ON A CA-125 BLOOD TEST EVERY YEAR AS PART OF THEIR
Be forewarned that their doctors might try to talk
them out of it, saying, "IT
ISN'T NECESSARY." Believe me, had I known then what
I know now, we would
have caught my cancer much earlier (before it was a
stage 3 cancer). Insist on the
CA-125 BLOOD TEST; DO NOT take "NO" for an answer!
The normal range for a CA-125 BLOOD TEST is between
zero and 35. MINE WAS
754. (That's right, 754!). If the number is slightly
above 35, you can have another
done in three or six months and keep a close eye on
it, just as women do when they
have fibroid tumors or when men have a slightly
elevated PSA test (Prostatic
Specific Antigens) that helps diagnose prostate
Having the CA-125 test done annually can alert you
early, and that's the
goal in diagnosing any type of cancer - catching it
Do you know 55 women? If so, at least one of them
will have this VERY
AGGRESSIVE cancer. Please, go to your doctor and
insist on a CA-125 test and
have one EVERY YEAR for the rest of your life.
And forward this message to every woman you know,
and tell all of your female
family members and friends. Though the median age
for this cancer is 56, (and,
guess what, I'm exactly 56), women as young as 22
have it. Age is no factor.
A NOTE FROM THE RN:
Well, after reading this, I made some calls. I found
that the CA-125 test is an ovarian screening
test equivalent to a man's PSA test prostrate screen
(which my husband's doctor automatically
gives him in his physical l each year and insurance
pays for it). I called the general practitioner's
office about having the test done. The nurse had
never heard of it. She told me that she doubted
that insurance would pay for it. So I called
Prudential Insurance Co., and got the same response.
Never heard of it - it won't be covered.
I explained that it was the same as the PSA test
they had paid for my husband for years.
After conferring with whomever they confer with, she
told me that the CA-125 would be covered .
It is $75 in a GP's office and $125 at the GYN's.
This is a screening test that should be required
like a PAP smear (a PAP smear cannot detect problems
with your ovaries). And you must insist
that your insurance company pay for it.
Gene Wilder and
(his wife had it, too) are lobbying for women's
health issues, saying that this test should be
required in our physicals, just like the
PAP and the mammogram. PLEASE TAKE A MOMENT TO SEND
THIS OUT TO
ALL THOSE YOU CAN. BE IT MALE OR FEMALE, IT SHOULD
NOT MATTER, AS
THEY CAN FORWARD IT ALSO TO THOSE LOVED ONES THEY
IF YOU HAVE A PROBLEM WITH FORWARDING SOMETHING AS
AS THIS, HERE'S A LITTLE HINT THAT MAY ASSIST YOU
DECISION ~ JUST PRETEND THAT THIS IS A JOKE, WHICH
CERTAINLY IS NOT, AND SEND IT OUT TO ALL THE FOLKS
IF IT WAS. THANKS.