Deadly Cancer Rarely Detected Early - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Deadly Cancer Rarely Detected Early

Dr. Sue Nadesan, Harrington Cancer Center Dr. Sue Nadesan, Harrington Cancer Center

By Megan Moore
NewsChannel 10

AMARILLO, TEXAS - A cancer that attacks women is often often misdiagnosed as indigestion or other more common illnesses.  As a result it advances into a late stage leaving a small chance for survival.

Stephanie Gregory knew something wasn't quite right two years ago when she was constantly bloated.

She says, "first they thought it was my thyroid and did tests and said i was fine. He basically dismissed my symptoms at that point."

When a friend finally convinced her to go to the emergency room, she was diagnosed with stage three ovarian cancer.

For her, it was a "total shock. That was the farthest thing from my mind that would be wrong with me."

Two days later, she was in the operating room for eight hours.

Seven months later, after some chemo, Stephanie's cancer was gone.

She is one of the lucky ones.

Dr. Sue Nadesan at Harrington Cancer Center says, "in 2010 there will be more than 21,000 cases. 13,000 of them will die."

That is because there is no standard screening for ovarian cancer; only a blood test that often detects it in a very late stage.

Dr. Nadesan believes"we need to look at how best to diagnose this disease early in a stage. Essentially it means getting every woman a gyn exam."

She urges all women to get a pelvic exam because "they might find something is amiss in a pelvic exam. So a pelvic exam is one of the most important a woman needs to have."

Some symptoms include bloating, abdominal discomfort, and fatigue.   The disease is most common in women older than 50.

Stephanie wants any woman who knows something is not right with her body to be persistent with her doctor; it's what saved her life.

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