Cancer survivor's plea
AVIS Dillon says women cannot recognise the many symptoms of ovarian cancer, because they are so vague.
The Sawtell grandmother, radio announcer and retired businesswoman knew nothing about the disease when she was diagnosed with stage three ovarian cancer in 2009.
Mrs Dillon said her symptoms – indigestion, bloating, backache and tiredness – were put down to a hiatus hernia and it was not until after she had an operation for another hernia it was discovered.
She was barely out of the operating theatre before she was rushed to John Hunter Hospital for a complex cancer operation and faced months of chemotherapy.
“If you have any doubts about your symptoms, ask your doctor for a CA125 blood test,’ she said
“To sit at home and say ‘I’m okay’ is a dangerous attitude to adopt.”
Avis hopes her experience will save other women’s lives through early detection.
There is no screening test.
February is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month and February 23 will be Teal Ribbon Day to raise money for support programs and research.