Never in my life would I have imagined I’d be called a cancer survivor.
Nor did I realize that the most critical decades for staying fit was between the age of 40-60.
Now that I am on the other side of being an ovarian and endometrial cancer patient, my commitment is to educate women about the risk factors of GYN cancer.
Breast cancer education dominants GYN cancer education. As it should, because 1/3 of newly diagnosed female cancer cases in 2021 will be breast cancer. That’s right. 30% of women diagnosed with cancer in 2021 will be diagnosed with breast cancer. That is over 250,000 women. Damn.
In comparison, the #1 GYN cancer is Uterine and will account for only 7 percent of women being diagnosed with cancer. That’s 66,000 new cases in women.
The most dangerous GYN cancer is ovarian. There are silent and vague symptoms that start early and go unnoticed until late stage. In 2021, there will be over 21,000 new cases or 2% of females diagnosed with cancer.
Fact check me here.
Since the development of the mammogram, breast cancer can be detected at a very early stage. I know many women who have gotten diagnosed in the Stage 1 or 2 range and opted out of chemotherapy because they chose to have a mastectomy.
Unfortunately for GYN cancer the only screening available is for cervical cancer. The cervix is accessible and can be scraped for cells during a Pap smear. The rest of the female reproductive system lies deep inside.
The uterus and ovaries are sandwiched between lots of anatomical structures. The spine, deep muscles to the back, the intestines and even lies very close to the bladder.
All deep structures and the available screening of pelvic and transvaginal ultrasounds are sometimes inconclusive because of what is in the way (bladder).
What tells the tale of GYN cancer in the uterus, ovaries and Fallopian tubes is the CT scan.
However, getting one approved by your insurance is a fight unless there is a medical reason due to the cost.
Thankfully, my story to getting a CT scan was due to a life threatening condition—multiple pulmonary embolisms.
That wasn’t a mistake. I was thankful I had blood clots in my lungs. Read here for my story.