In my mom's words, I have heard her say many times that it doesn't matter if you do not have a family history of cancer. Our family did not. Now, we do.
Most of the questions I get from people who stumble across this blog is about "what would you and your mom do differently?"
Since we are well-versed in Ovarian Cancer, I can think of three main things:
- DON'T ignore your body. If something seems weird or slightly off, get it checked out. Point blank. By the time the symptoms of Ovarian Cancer become a little more "loud" - 9 times out of 10 it has already spread and is Stage III by the time diagnosed.
- DON'T TAKE ANYTHING FOR GRANTED. Just because you eat healthy (like my mom), Jazzercize ever day (like my mom) and take every health precaution imaginable (my mom is a nurse enough said) do not think for a moment that you won't have cancer invade your body. Since our family did not have any prior history of Ovarian Cancer, I felt that there was nothing to worry about. That bothers me now more than anything. Don't take anything for granted. It can happen to any woman.
- DON'T REST ON ONE OPINION. Do some research, talk to others about their experiences and get second or third or fourth opinions until you find a physician that you can be comfortable with and trust. No matter if they live across the country, you deserve to have the best care and you have to be your own health care advocate. I know that there are limitations and not everyone can fly up to Mayo Clinic or search the globe for care, but you still do due diligence and ask for help from organizations (American Cancer Society) and other local cancer advocacy organizations about the best path of care for you.