Daphne glad to be alive
By CLEO SRIBER
WHEN Daphne Evans went to see her doctor with pain in her right side and her rectum she was told for two months that there was nothing wrong.
When her ovarian cancer was finally detected, it was almost too late.
After losing both ovaries, her appendix and lymph glands, and underrgoing a course of chemotherapy, Daphne is now in remission and glad to be alive.
Ovarian cancer is very difficult to detect in its early stages because of its vague symptoms.
Australian women are being urged to get to know the symptoms during Ovarian Cancer Awareness Week, this week.
Each year about 1200 women are diagnosed with the disease in Australia and more than half these women will not survive five years after their diagnosis.
Daphne Evans wished that she had known that she could have the blood test with her annual Pap smear test.
"By the time you've got pain it's often too late," Ms Evans said.
"You have to have a positive attitude because it's very stressful going through the treatment. But I feel wonderful now."
Because it is so difficult to detect, seven out of 10 women with ovarian cancer will be diagnosed at an advanced stage where the cancer has spread and is very difficult to treat successfully.
Director of the National Breast Cancer Centre, which incorporates the Ovarian Cancer Program, Dr Helen Zorbas, said Australian women should see their GP about any unusual or persistent changes in their bodies.
The most common symptoms of ovarian cancer are abdominal bloating, appetite loss or feeling full, unexplained weight gain, constipation, heartburn, back pain, changes in urinary frequency, fatigue or abdominal or pelvic pain.
"If a woman is experiencing one or more of these symptoms and knows it is unusual for her, she should see her GP and raise the question of ovarian cancer" Dr Zorbas said.
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