I just got word that one of the branch managers I used to work with (before fleeing Middle Management) has passed away. She fought her ovarian cancer for 18 months, with surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. Unbelieveably, she also kept working.
If ovarian cancer doesn't scare the shit out of you - it should. At this moment there is still no consistently reliable test to detect it. Hello?! What is wrong with this picture? So when you hear about a woman being diagnosed it's usually a death sentence. By the time many realize that something is "not right," they've hit Stage III. Which was the case with my coworker. She wasn't feeling well. She was losing weight. Her library staff essentially goaded her into seeing the doctor. Surgery was performed right way, the staff took turns taking her to chemo, she kept working.
We have a test for breast cancer. We have a test for colon cancer. We even have a test for cervical cancer - assuming you're not a dumbass and refuse to get an annual PAP. Yeah, I know PAPs aren't fun. I figure if I'm going to spread my legs and put my feet in stirrups I should be 1) half drunk and 2) having a really good time - but you know what? It has to be done. No PAP - no idea if you are cancer free. Also, a PAP usually comes with a matching pelvic exam - which can help your doctor determine if there is any abnormal swelling or tenderness around your ovaries. So get your damn PAP!
For more information about symptoms, diagnosis and treatment click here. In the meantime, get your annual PAP and pelvic done.