Dr. Barbara Goff, director of gynecologic oncology at the University of Washington Medical Center, joins Andrew Schorr to help deconstruct the myth that ovarian cancer is a silent disease. Hear her explain how the disease can be caught earlier thanks to new research about genetic disposition, the first symptoms, and early testing options. Stephanie Donich, a peritoneal cancer patient, joins the discussion to tell her story of how she missed the earliest symptoms. She encourages women to not only be vigilant about testing but in listening to their bodies.
Although many of the early symptoms, such as abdominal bloating and difficulty eating, can seem vague and are often benign for many women, a recent study found six symptoms when present over a specific period of time that are predictive of having ovarian cancer. This is promising news for doctors and patients because when detected in its earliest stages, ovarian cancer has cure rates of 70 to 90 percent. Learn what these symptoms are and the first steps to take in assessing them with your doctor. There are several test, including pelvic exam, transvaginal ultrasounds, and the blood test CA125, to help a woman evaluate the cause of her symptoms.
Dr. Goff contends the key for women is to partner with their doctors and be persistent in pursuing the cause of these symptoms, particularly if they continue. One reason ovarian cancer is often deadly is becausepatients attribute the earliest symptoms to something else, and the disease is not caught until its latest stages when it is hardest to treat. The interview also includes a brief discussion on screening strategies for women who test positive for the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene, which have been shown to have a genetic disposition toward breast or ovarian cancers. Learn the steps Stephanie Donich took to help the women in her family when she found out she had tested positive for one of the genes. In ovarian cancer early detection is the name of the game, and this informative interview gives women their best shot at doing so.
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