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Uterine, cervical, ovarian cancer awareness - or lack thereof Uterine, cervical, ovarian cancer awareness - or lack thereof

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  #1  
Unread 07-21-2010, 09:31 PM
Uterine, cervical, ovarian cancer awareness - or lack thereof

I don't know if anyone tells women what to watch for in terms of symptoms for endometrial cancer. I did know that postmenopausal bleeding was important to report for that reason - and I did, but biopsies were ok. I don't know why I knew that, but I don't think it was from my physicians. My endo cancer was investigated again because there were endometrial cells (albeit normal) on my Pap smear. That was quite fortuitous for me because my cancer was Stage I Grade 1, detected before I had any bleeding symtoms, and I will likely never see it again.

Breast cancer has done a fabulous job of raising awareness. I believe there needs to be more awareness of uterine, ovarian and cervical cancers. Before I had endometrial cancer I was well aware of the pink ribbon, but not teal nor peach.

I am not biased against the breast cancer campaign at all. I have breast cancer so I'm all for all the fundraising and publicity it gets. But it really does annoy me that these other rather common female cancers and their symptoms are not well known and too often women ignore symptoms for too long before reporting them to their physicians. I was in Rite Aid yesterday and there is a whole section with pink greeting cards. They're great, but they're for breast cancer and breast cancer only. What the?

I think while I'm taking it easy during my breast cancer treatments, I'll investigate getting involved in promoting awareness for these other ugly cancers.

What do you all know about any current efforts?

Suzanne
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  #2  
Unread 07-21-2010, 09:38 PM
Re: Uterine, cervical, ovarian cancer awareness - or lack thereof

Answering my own post, I just realized there is info at the beginning of this forum. I'll read it.
S
  #3  
Unread 07-21-2010, 10:17 PM
Re: Uterine, cervical, ovarian cancer awareness - or lack thereof

And more support for breast ca. At my HMO I had endo ca, a family member had breast ca. She got booklets of cancer info, breast ca support info, offers of 2nd opinions, etc. I got none of that, none. Only breast ca pts get resources? The rest of us need support, too. No info on symptoms, no support----no peach ribbon. We have some catching up to do here for sure.
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  #4  
Unread 07-21-2010, 10:40 PM
Re: Uterine, cervical, ovarian cancer awareness - or lack thereof

Suzanne,

Thanks for promoting the awareness of early detection of other gynecological cancers besides breast cancer.

Pap smear has long been a standard procedure for all women starting age 40. Gilda's Club (in remembrance of Gilda Radner) has been active in promoting ovarian cancer awareness. The 'pink' movement has saved thousands of people's life because self-exam is one of the most important ways to catch breast cancer early. You've been there, I'm sure you understand.

My breast cancer recurrence was not found (by myself) until 4 years after my initial lympectomy. Mammagram is only accurate 70% of the time and I learned it the hard way. After researching the genetic links ('HNPCC'- Mother [NHL] and 2nd Brother [CC] both have had cancer), I decided to have prophylactic hysterectomy/oophorectomy. My family doctor gave me a referral to see a counselor because he thought I was pressing the issue too hard.

Sitting here without suffering what I had experienced before, I'm just grateful for all the modern technology and wonderful volunteers who have enabled us to find, explore, and make wise decisions.

Take care and do let us know more about your findings.
  #5  
Unread 07-21-2010, 11:38 PM
Re: Uterine, cervical, ovarian cancer awareness - or lack thereof

Yeah I got angry about this the other night (see my other post "waiting, scared and lots of questions"). I really think the yearly pap has been a life-saver for us all, but it has also been a life-taker in the fact that it had provided a false sense of security to those of us that never heard about the symptoms of uterine or endometrial cancer.

I think if I can make it through this whole ordeal, I would like to start a push for endo cancer awareness.

I will definately start at home with my 18 year old daughter and move on from there!
  #6  
Unread 07-22-2010, 08:18 PM
Re: Uterine, cervical, ovarian cancer awareness - or lack thereof

I read somewhere the pink cause gets more attention because there are more survivors. Those of us bearing the teal ribbons are fewer in number. Not sure if thats true, but still.
When I was first diagnosed, I looked everywhere for help and info. Its out there but I had to search for it.
Wishing you all the best.
  #7  
Unread 07-22-2010, 08:44 PM
Re: Uterine, cervical, ovarian cancer awareness - or lack thereof

No, the pink gets the attention because the numbers are So much higher.
85% of women with endometrial cancer are completely treated with just the surgery. The "other 15% make up a number that is infitismally smaller than those with breast cancer. WHen I was diagnosed, a friend who is a gynecologist said that endo cancer was no big deal "if you are going to get any cancer it is the one to get" and that is pretty much what the gynecologist (who reported my PAP test as being normal, when there were endometrial cells on it), said.
The numbers of studies that are going on for breast cancer is HUGE, and endo, since, again, the numbers are so much smaller, have been so much less....... AND they discovered 5-10 years ago that was the only cancer that they were not improving the survival rates on, so more interest and studies have gone into endo cancer. (things have improved a lot since then)

I have a hard time in October to see just how much goes into breast cancer, and most people do not even know what endometrial cancer is.
Personally when I see them racing for the cure, I just wish that someone would race for the cause. (race to find out what is causing all these people to develop cancer)
  #8  
Unread 07-22-2010, 08:45 PM
Re: Uterine, cervical, ovarian cancer awareness - or lack thereof

I also joined a couple of the brain tumor groups. Only this spring did I find (or let's say, they found me) other survivors of the particular type of brain tumor I have. It's really a matter of how many survivors of a particular type of cancer are out there.

Our local hospital (a big teaching hospital of Texas A&M University Medical School) used to have a head injury support group. I haven't heard much from them ever since they changed the name to Brain Trust (? really can't remember) And the only reason why we were able to do lots of activities is because someone (some family?) had donated a big sum of money so the volunteer can just use the interests.
  #9  
Unread 07-22-2010, 09:08 PM
Re: Uterine, cervical, ovarian cancer awareness - or lack thereof

I'm glad there are others out there that feel the same way I do regarding awareness. What really gets me angry is that if someone learns I had cancer and then hears it was "only" uterine cancer it isn't that much of a big deal. Like it isn't a real cancer. I truly respect and admire all the breast cancer survivors (among other cancers) and am honestly not diminishing what they went through with their treatment, but just because I didn't need chemo or radiation doesn't mean I didn't have cancer. I know it isn't realistic or fair to compare my minimal treatment to others who have gone through so much more but I, too, share all the emotions and fear other cancer survivors have.

Yes, some cancers have poorer outcomes than others, however, I would hope that increased awareness of any cancer type , no matter which type, would spread the message for early detection because, at the end of the day, cancer is cancer and it is a very scary thing.
  #10  
Unread 07-22-2010, 09:10 PM
Re: Uterine, cervical, ovarian cancer awareness - or lack thereof

Hi! Does anyone know about the Cancer Schmancer movement founded by Fran Drescher? She had uterine cancer and was misdiagnosed for years before she got help. They want to educate women on early detection of uterine and other cancers and "to create new healthcare mandates on both Federal and State levels to include more cancer screening tests and diagnostic tools as part of ALL women's basic exams." I don't know anything about them and wondered if anyone has any information. They seem to have worthy goals. I cannot post a web address but you can google "cancer schmancer movement."
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