ROYAL OAK, Michigan (WXYZ-TV) – It was in 2015 when Karen O’Brien’s doctor found a mass during a routine examination. This mass turned out to be ovarian cancer, which did not return once, not twice, but three times.
Karen underwent this last three rounds of chemotherapy and one round of radiation, which just ended in February.
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“The hardest part of this is that I won’t know until Monday, this coming Monday, if it worked,” he told Action News.
Karen, who is a high school volleyball coach in Monroe, helped create the “Teal Attack,” which is the color of ovarian cancer. He also works closely with the Michigan Ovarian Cancer Alliance (MIOCA) to raise awareness about the disease, which is much less well known than other cancers.
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“There is so much awareness about breast cancer. Its month is October. Well, in September you start to see pink everywhere, “Karen said.” The month of Teal Attack is September. And you rarely see the circle. And part of the use of the circle attack with sporting events is to raise money and awareness. “
According to the National Cancer Institute, 1.2% of U.S. women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer in their lifetime.
“The dilemma we have with ovarian cancer is that we have very limited utility in detecting ovarian cancer or actual prevention,” said Dr. Sangeeta Kaur, OBGYN’s associate medical director at Beaumont Royal Oak.
According to the CDC, common signs of ovarian cancer may include:
- Vaginal bleeding
- Pressure or pain in the pelvic area
- Difficulty eating or feeling full too fast
- Changes in bathing habits, such as the frequent need to urinate
“The two main risk factors for ovarian cancer are age, so women over the age of 50 are more likely to have ovarian cancer and, if there is a family history of ovarian cancer,” said Dr.
Karen is positive for BRCA 1, a common genetic mutation related to ovarian cancer; something that runs in his family.
When it comes to cervical cancer, 0.6% of women in the U.S. will be diagnosed throughout their lives. According to the National Cancer Institute, the rate of new cervical cancer cases is 7.5 per 100,000.
The best way to prevent cervical cancer, Dr. Kaur in the Action news, is that frequent pap tests are performed to detect it and get the HPV vaccine, available for both men and women aged 9 to 26 years. The shot is usually given to teenagers.
“Certainly, we have data on the vaccine for more than 12 to 15 years. It has significantly reduced the rate of cervical cancer, “he said.” Uterine cancer is actually the most common GYN-related cancer. “
It was uterine cancer that claimed the life of Michelle Campbell’s mother last year.
“The cancer had mutated in the lungs, so it spread quickly. It was the fourth stage at the time it happened,” Clarkston, who is from Clarkston, told Action News.
3.1 percent of U.S. women will be diagnosed with uterine cancer in their lifetime. Michelle said her mother postponed regular visits to the doctor for years.
“I don’t know how long he had it,” she said. “It probably took at least a year or two.”
While pap smears do not detect uterine or ovarian cancers, visiting your doctor first is an important step for overall well-being, he said. Dr. Kaur.
Like Karen, Michelle hopes her family story can inspire others to take action before it’s too late.
“It could save your life,” Michelle told Action News.