Are you a strong person? Assertive? Do you ask questions until you have a clear understanding? Do you seek out information? Are you independent? I consider myself to be strong and assertive, and somewhat independent. When I told my gynecologist about my symptoms and when she could not get the speculum in because something was blocking it, I am glad that she was assertive, strong, and sought out answers to her questions. She immediately ordered scans and blood tests; then 3 days later sent me to a gynecology-oncologist surgeon. Her ego did not get in the way to send me to another physician.
Too often women with ovarian cancer have been misdiagnosed or ignored by physicians, because the symptoms were subtle, or too similar to other medical issues. When a woman experiences abdominal bloating, pelvic or low back pain, changes in urinary or bowel habits, or difficulty eating or feeling full quickly for more than 2 weeks, she needs to be assertive and see her family physician. The more written documentation of symptoms and family history of diseases, the better the doctor can make a preliminary diagnosis.
No one knows your body better than you. We often "sense" when something is not right. If a woman is not satisfied with the doctor's diagnosis, or lack thereof, that is when she must be her own advocate. My suggestion is that she seek out a gynecology-oncologist surgeon. When I read about women who were diagnosed with advanced cancer, I get angry that either she did not listen to her body and act accordingly, or that her physician was too casual about her symptoms. It is far better to be a nuisance by insisting, demanding, or screaming for appropriate tests and examinations by a specialist, than to not get the immediate attention one deserves. Be your own advocate.
- Karen Ingalls
- Ovarian cancer will be diagnosed in 1 of 72 women; 14,000 will die. Please know the symptoms and risk factors: read Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir. Books at www.amazon.com. ALL PROCEEDS GO TO GYNECOLOGIC CANCER RESEARCH. I am a member of Rave Reviews Book Club and Rave Writer's International Society of Authors, and Patient Leadership Council for Tesaro, Inc. I WILL NOT USE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS FOR ANY OTHER PURPOSE THAN CONTACTING YOU DIRECTLY. ALL ORIGINAL CONTENT COPYRIGHT 2011 THROUGH 2018.