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Does Endometrial Cancer need better PR? Does Endometrial Cancer need better PR?

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  #11  
Unread 06-11-2004, 05:27 PM
Does Endometrial Cancer need better PR?

Carol,

I am guessing that most women would be alarmed enough by post-menopausal bleeding to seek information... I don't know. Though the Pap Smear doesn't always catch signs of Endometrial Cancer (though it did for me), it's usefulness for such matters does seem to deserve extra note as it seems that more and more, there are efforts to do away with it in favor of other methods of detecting cervical cancer. To be honest, the Pap Smear has been my GodSend. In retrospect, there were clues to my problem, but I was unaware.

Media may be effective in sending a message, but I tend to think that until these cancers hit somebody in the family or someone that we know who didn't fall into a typical predisposition category, most tend to block out that message... that's what happened to my mom who had breast cancer..God rest her soul.

Though I've seen statistics vary, breast cancer is the most common cancer in women, ..so it gets top media attention. But it does seem to get that extra sympathy due to what I would consider emotional/symbolic reasons.

I do, however, think that most women tend to get abnormal bleeding as an indicator of possible endometrial cancer.
I think our best ally in creating an understanding about this could be the gynecologists. If I had read something on my check-in form at the gynecologist's about how extra bleeding could be the sign of endometrial problems, and how endometrial cancer is the most common gynecological cancer and that even premenopausal women may be at risk, I probably would have been more apt to say something about my trailing period. Of course, the media and grass-root method of woman-to-woman chats have their place.

((((Becky))))),,that was cold of them...

liandra... good for you, ..you've broken the all too common clinical complacency barrier.

Pat
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  #12  
Unread 06-11-2004, 06:38 PM
Does Endometrial Cancer need better PR?

While it's true that most post-menopausal women would see a doctor if they experienced bleeding, not all of us are post-menopausal. When I started heavy periods and bleeding between periods, I just assumed that I was in perimenopause (I was 53 at the time) since these are symptoms of it. I didn't see a doctor until I went to donate blood and was sent away because I was too anemic.
  #13  
Unread 06-11-2004, 07:48 PM
Does Endometrial Cancer need better PR?

I agree that there is not much out there on endometrial cancer. I was fortunate my mom had it and my doctor knew my family history and kept an eye on it with periodic biopsy and then once I started to bleed irregularly and I tried to tell him I must be going through menapause my gyn insisted on a D&C. Again Iwas fortunate that my gyn was on top of things.

I also feel we need to be as open as possible with our doctors even though some things are difficult to talk about or something starts to happen that is different or we don't understand, mention it to your doctor it may mean something like cancer being caught early. If you have a medical doctor that you trust you need to be open and honest no matter how embarassing you may feel.

Be sure your family membrs know about your medical history, my daughter has already told her gyn about the endometrial cancer that I had it and her grandma had it.
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  #14  
Unread 06-12-2004, 04:16 AM
Does Endometrial Cancer need better PR?

Pat,

To respond to your comments, I wasn't post-menopausal and I didn't have any alarming symptoms. I had an intermittent watery discharge that over time became tinged with blood. I (wrongly) assumed I was starting menopause. When I called my gynecologist, despite the fact that I described my symptoms in detail twice, she was unwilling to see me for four months. I found that unacceptable and found another gynecologist who saw me in less than a week. If I had waited for that appointment, there was a good possibility I would be dead by now, because my cancer turned out to be 80% through my myometrium at the time of diagnosis.

It would be nice if women could see vaginal bleeding or discharge, know it might mean cancer, get in to see their gynecologists and get timely diagnoses (or rule out cancer) and get effective treatment from gynecologic oncologists, who are appropriately trained and give women the best chance of an optimal outcome with minimal side effects. Unfortunately, that is not currently happening.

If you want a good example, take a look at Fran Drescher's book, Cancer Schmancer. The eighth doctor she saw finally did what he/she was supposed to and performed a D&C and diagnosed her endometrial cancer. Before that, she walked around spotting for more than two years and went from doctor to doctor for help with her problem. She had a number of pap tests which were normal. Neither she nor her any of her many doctor knew that her spotting, which was becoming more and more significant over time, indicated that she needed a biopsy of her uterine lining to diagnose or rule out endometrial cancer. Unfortunately, I hear many similar stories.

Fran Drescher's experience is an excellent example of why endometrial cancer needs better PR--not only for the women whose lives are at stake, but also for doctors, who can be clueless about the appropriate course of action.

MoeKay
  #15  
Unread 06-12-2004, 09:28 AM
Does Endometrial Cancer need better PR?

I couldn't agree more. I had not heard of endometrial cancer until I was diagnosed with Atypical Hyperplasia in August last year, and only reserarching on the internet did I discover where it could lead.

I have PCOS and it is not unusual for me to have severe and irregular bleeding, so when this occurred, my doctor put me on stronger tablets to try and get the bleeding under control. It was only that I couldn't stop bleeding on very stong tablets that I had a D&C and biopsy.

Like most women with PCOS I didn't act quickly on the symptons as they were not uncommon for my condition. ONly now after being dianosed and many hours on the internet researching am I aware that women with PCOS are at a higher risk of endometrial cancer.

I am due to have a hsyerectomy with removal of ovaries on Wednesday 16th June as after high doses of progesterone and a second biopsy the changes were very insignificant and I have chosen this option as best for me.

Thank you fo this site, it is fantastic, especially at this emotional time.

and YES! Endometrial Cancer needs more PR, as do all cancers relating to the reproductive organs.
  #16  
Unread 06-12-2004, 12:01 PM
Does Endometrial Cancer need better PR?

I agree that all gynecological cancers need more attention, no doubt about it. I am consistently surprised, for example, by the very few number of women who know that cervical cancer and dysplasia is usually caused by a virus. It should be taught in sex ed, but it's not.

To all the sisters who work on advocacy, thanks!
  #17  
Unread 06-12-2004, 12:39 PM
Does Endometrial Cancer need better PR?

Yes Moekay..

I wasn't post menopausal either.. and I'd be the first to say that some doctors could definitely use enlightenment.
  #18  
Unread 06-12-2004, 06:35 PM
Does Endometrial Cancer need better PR?

I too am another atypical person who acquired endometrial cancer. Virtually asymptomatic physically aside from an intermittent watery to pink discharge; but I KNEW something was wrong. I am an R.N., learned very little about this type of cancer in my career, and only became familiar with it when my mother was diagnosed (and survived) a rather advanced uterine cancer in 1984. Although Mom was typical; post menopausal,diabetic, overweight,with much bleeding, going through this with her remained a bug in my head to be vigiliant to changes in my own body. This pushed me to get checked right away, and fortunately my endometrial cancer was discovered at a very early stage.

If we all grow where we are planted, sharing our stories amongst our friends, colleagues, family, etc, the word will spead and hopefully we will make an impact and maybe save a life.
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