Hey Lil, Liz, etal.
I thought I had seen that message about peritoneal cancer before. Sylvie
sent it as an attachment. I hope you can read it. I think the original
author might be on here.
From: Muszynski, April <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: 'email@example.com' <firstname.lastname@example.org>; Weathers, Diane
<email@example.com>; Canorro, Lisa
<firstname.lastname@example.org>; Williams, Christie
Date: Tuesday, 10 November 1998 6:34
Subject: RE: VERY IMPORTANT MEDICAL INFORMATION
>For those of you who could not open that document I sent about the
>health info, I opened it and copied and pasted it:
>THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT INFORMATION. READ IT AND FORWARD IT TO
>As some 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 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
>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.
>Thank you for your time.
>My best wishes for your continued good health.
>(sent by Ann Sparks, friend of Carolyn)
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