So very sorry for your family right now.
Cancer can happen to anyone, it just does not seem fair.
I hope that your sisterinlaw can be surrounded by the love of her family right now.
Prayers for her.............
First of all to OP - I'm so sorry about your SIL and especially for her kids.
Originally Posted by Ruth0552
But to Ruth and others - PAP smears do NOT identify ovarian cancer. PAP smears detect cervical cancer. And, yes, it is important to diagnose cervical cancer early - like any cancer - but in general, cervical cancer is nowhere near as lethal as ovarian cancer.
And all of you listen up - if you have even ONE 1st degree relative with ovarian cancer, get yourself to a good gyno who is either also an oncologist or has connections to gyno-onco docs. And if you have TWO close relatives who have had it, and throw breast cancer in the mix, too, go even quicker, and add a consult with a geneticist in there too.
My family is number 1217 in the Gilda Radner Familial Ovarian Cancer Registry, named and funded (obviously) by Gilda's family after she died from ovarian cancer, not realizing that she had a family history and that it was so relevant. My mother survived it. Her (only) sister died from it in her 40's. Their mother died from it in her 20's. My cousin (the only daughter of my only maternal aunt) survived it. My mother had 4 aunts, all of whom died from breast cancer.
When my cousin was diagnosed 20 years ago, her doctor gave her info on the Radner registry at Rochester Cancer Institute. I did the genealogical research on our family and submitted a family tree with all relevant info. I had one simple question - what should I do? My odds, based on family history and other personal factors, were assessed at one in two that I would have ovarian cancer. Their recommendation for women in my category was to have ovaries removed by age 35. I had a complete hysterectomy at age 34. And even now, 18 years later, without ovaries, I still have the potential to develop that specific cancer in my abdominal cavity.
I'm not trying to scare anybody. Just relaying what I know. Much research has been done in the last 20 years, and now, advice for women with my history would start with genetic testing for the BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations. Then make decisions from there.
Good luck to all who are facing this awful disease.
Freebird! Thank you for telling us about this. It is a stark reminder on how short and precious life is.
As an aside, man you have had a crappy year. ((HUGS)) Hang in there sweetie!!!
My heart goes out to your family. The mom of one of my old students, who has a 13 yr old, a 3 yr old and an 8 mon old, was just told she has advanced cervical cancer. They said they "saw something" during the birth and suggested she have it checked, but with the new baby and other distractions, it was put off. The situation is now very serious. Take the OP's advice and go by the book, appointments regular and on time. Jingles to everyone fighting this kind of battle.
Amen amen amen.
I've had annual paps done since I was 15. Had two abnormal when I was 20. Turns out I had pre cancer and had to have part of my cervix removed. If I hadn't, it would have turned into cancer. And I was TWENTY years old.
I now get a full check up every 6 months to a year. My mom and aunt had ovarian cancer.
Originally Posted by Fox Wood Farm
I'm so glad you are taking care of yourself, given your terrifying genetic setup. I have a close girlfriend who had a complete hysterectomy and a double mastectomy, asymptomatic, and in her mid-30s, due to a pretty dire BRCA gene test and lots of deadly ovarian and breast cancer in her family. I believe she did the right thing, hard as it was, as she is still alive and healty, years later, at an age most other females in her family never got to reach.
And, yes, a Pap smear has nothing to do with ovarian cancer..yes, get one, regularly, for sure, but it won't give you a heads up about ovarian cancer. Pretty much nothing will, except for genetic testing, for some of it. It's a nasty cancer, no symptoms until it is advanced :(.
Very sorry to hear about what your family is going through. Cancer is terrible and unfortunately can strike at anytime to anyone. It's not fair. Prayers to everyone involved....
Fox Wood is correct, there aren't any early screening tests for ovarian cancer that's what makes it so deadly because it gets caught too late. The pap will not detect it. Only watching for the symptoms and getting it checked out early is the best they have right now. From what I understand the symptoms are vague and most of the time are misdiagnosed as something else. I did some fund raising for ovarian cancer. I was very surprised to hear that there wasn't an early detection test for it. However if it's caught early I think I remember them saying the survival rate was around 90%
Would like to add that seeing the GYN isn't always enough. My mom saw hers regularly, got pain a little after an appt, so had to see PCP, who jerked her around for the better part of 6 months. She finally got an ultrasound, one tumor the size of a baby's head, the other a cantaloupe. Saw a specialist, surgery the same day followed by chemo.
Your family is in my thoughts.
Just very sad. Cancer sucks.
Ditto this - my friend has similar symptoms and it was her thyroid.
Originally Posted by chai
I'm sorry for your SIL and her poor little kids:(. Many prayers and jingles for her and her family.
My mom just got after me yesterday to get one booked since it's been over a year, because my aunt just had a complete hysterectomy and a 12" section of her bowel removed because of ovarian cancer.
I will make a call first thing tomorrow.
So sorry to hear this Freebird. I wish her well.
Have you read Leena's thread in Equestrians with disabilities. She has been living with ovarian cancer for 5 years + now and is fighting it every day with great courage and poise. She has started a blog (in French) explaining all the steps from her pain and misdiagnosis to now and how the horses have helped her.
I don't know if it would help you or not.
I hope she does not suffer and that she can enjoy as much time as possible with her children.
I'm so sorry, Freebird. What a sad diagnosis.
So very sorry to hear about your SIL Freebird. What a sad, sad circumstance. I can offer some prayers for her and her kids. I wish there was more I could do.
Fox Woods Farms, thanks for the info. This is what frightens me about orphans who don't know their family history. Knowing our family history can save our life.
I've had a few friends pass from cancer. We want to believe we can do something to guarantee it won't happen to us, but sometimes it just does and they never know the cause. It's taught me to treasure my friends now, because they may not be here tomorrow.
OP, look up Dr. Sugarbaker's chemo bath procedure. I'll try to post a link, don't know if it will work. I send prayers and I'm so sorry you're all going through this...
Cervical cancer (which a Pap smear is supposed to screen for) is totally different than ovarian cancer. Ovarian cancer would not be detected by Pap smear.
I wonder if adding a transvaginal ultrasound to yearly exams would help detect it earlier?
My SIL is barely staying awake now. They have her so heavily drugged with pain need, but she is still suffering. My MIL said she looks 7 months pregnant, yet she has lost 17 lbs.
I pray that God calls her home sooner rather then later.
Sending hugs to you and your family and your SIL and her family.
Hugs to you Freebird, what a tragedy for the whole family. My prayers are with all of you.