In July 2009, my grandmother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Just two years later, in July 2011, she was gone.
We knew nothing at all about ovarian cancer when she was first diagnosed. Then we learned more than we ever wanted.
She had complained of symptoms for months, and we had all thought they were something else. Had we known then...
We have no way of knowing what could have happened. But the fact is, when my grandma was diagnosed, she was already in Stage IV. There are millions of women in America today who still have misconceptions about ovarian cancer, its symptoms and how it's detected.
On Friday, I discovered one of my coworkers held the #1 misconception - I had to let her know there is currently no screening test for ovarian cancer.
Three things to know:
- They do NOT screen for ovarian cancer during a pap test.
- It can be hereditary. It can be linked with breast cancer. Know your family history.
- Symptoms: bloating, feeling full, abdominal pain, frequency of urination - if they last longer than two weeks, see your doctor immediately.
I don't want anyone else to go through the pain my grandmother went through, or the pain we felt as we watched her slowly slip away. Please communicate this information with your loved ones; please help beat this terrible disease.