[MOL] Peritoneal Cancer/Ovarian-Very Important, Molers Read Please ! [02343] Medicine On Line


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[MOL] Peritoneal Cancer/Ovarian-Very Important, Molers Read Please !



Forwarded to me from a friend:

I want to tell you about 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 and Carboplatin).

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, had my annual mammogram and PAP smear, did monthly Self Breast
Exam,
went to the dentist at least twice/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 organ cancers.
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 CANCER! THE
"CLASSIC" SYMPTOMS ARE  AN ABDOMEN THAT RATHER SUDDENLY ENLARGES 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 bacterial
infection; these tests were negative, and I was diagnosed with
"Irritable
Bowel Syndrome."
>
I guess I would 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 more tests.  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 procedure, I assure you, but NOTHING
compared
to what was ahead of me).  Tests revealed cancer cells in the fluid.
>
Finally, Finally, finally,the Doctor ran a CA-125 blood test and I was
properly diagnosed. I HAD THE CLASSIC SYMPTOMS FOR OVARIAN CANCER AND,
YET, THIS 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, P-L-E-A-S-E TELL ALL YOUR FEMALE FRIENDS AND RELATIVES
TO INSIST ON A CA-125 BLOOD TEST EVERY YEAR AS PART OF THEIR ANNUAL
PHYSICAL EXAMS.  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; DON'T 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 ELEVATED,
YOU  CAN HAVE ANOTHER ONE DONE IN THREE OR SIX MONTHS AND KEEP A CLOSE
EYE ON  IT JUST LIKE WOMEN DO WHEN THEY HAVE FIBROID TUMORS OR WHEN MEN
HAVE A SLIGHTLY ELEVATED PSA TEST (PROSTATE SPECIFIC ANTIGENS) THAT
HELPS  DIAGNOSE PROSTATE CANCER. HAVING THE CA-125 TEST DONE ANNUALLY
CAN ALERT  YOU EARLY, AND THAT'S THE GOAL IN DIAGNOSING ANY TYPE OF
CANCER -- CATCH  IT EARLY.
>
 I hope I haven't bored you with all of this.  But I hope I HAVE scared
you enough to motivate you to action.  Do YOU know 55 women?  If so, at
least one of them will have this VERY AGGRESSIVE cancer -- and maybe,
just
maybe, it will be YOU.  I hope not.

Please, go to your Doctor THIS WEEK 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.

            As the Nike ads say, "JUST DO IT!"

 Please don't think youth will protect you, either.  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 not a factor.








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