The American Cancer Society estimates that 22,280 women in the US will be diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer, and 15,500 of those cases will be fatal. To raise awareness of ovarian cancer, we interviewed Dee, author of the blog Women of Teal. She is an ovarian cancer survivor, fighter, and advocate. She kindly shared her story and clinical trial experiences with JCT.
I am a wife and mother. After working as an engineer, college program coordinator, and computer teacher I did not think the focus of my life would change yet again. But in 2005, after being diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer I became a cancer survivor and research advocate.
I attended the Lance Armstrong Foundation’s Survivor Summits, became a member of my state’s Cancer Control Plan workgroup and joined a number of ovarian cancer advocacy organizations, serving on the Board of the Kaleidoscope of Hope Foundation for three years. In 2007, I began writing my blog, Women of Teal, in order to share what I have learned on this journey with others and to raise awareness of the disease, its treatments and the need for more research.
1. Would you please share with our readers how you were first diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and at what stage it was at?
I visited The Center for Cosmetic & Reconstructive Gynecology, my gynecologist for my annual exam and mentioned to her an odd pain I was having on my left side. I thought I might have just pulled a muscle. She thought we should investigate further and sent me for a transvaginal ultrasound.
The day after I had the ultrasound I was in the ER in terrible pain. The ER physician contacted the radiologist and my gynecologist, and I was scheduled the next day for an MRI. Continue Reading→
Stress illness, otherwise known as Psychophysiologic Disorder or PPD, may not be a household word, but the conditions that result from it are all too common. We feature a leading expert in the field of PPD, Dr. David D. Clarke, in our JCT interview series. He was kind enough to shed some light on what PPD is and how it affects an estimated five to ten million people in the United States.
Dr. Clarke, could you please define the term “Stress Illness?”
The term “stress illness” describes an illness that is not linked to any disease of an organ or structure in the body, but one that diagnostic tests can’t explain. Often, people have physical symptoms that cause them discomfort or pain, but tests run by their doctor don’t show a cause for the symptoms.
Most of these patients are actually suffering from symptoms and illness caused by stress, which can be unrecognized or not readily apparent, hence the term “stress illness”, otherwise known as PPD.
How does it differ from the regular stress we experience every day?
Everyone experiences stress, but there are two main differences between regular stress and stress illness. To lessen your stress on your baby’s heartbeat you can use baby heartbeat monitor and feel secured. For a stress-free dental care for your teeth just go to headaches and tooth decay. The first is the degree and high level of stress which is producing physical symptoms such as stomach upset, headaches, and body pain on a regular basis. The second is that the person is not aware of the magnitude of the stress they are coping with because they have been living with it consistently. Continue Reading→
JCT is pleased to introduce esteemed cancer specialist Dr. Tomasz Beer, and Dr. Larry Axmaker, author and prostate cancer survivor. They were kind enough to answer some questions about their experiences with cancer and clinical trials, from both a doctor’s and a patient’s perspective.
1. How did the two of you become colleagues/friends and what was the inspiration behind your blog?
We met in the prostate cancer clinic as patient and physician and forged a friendship over the years. The blog, along with the book was inspired by a strong desire to share knowledge about clinical trials with people who are living with cancer and who are called upon to make decisions about their cancer care.
2. You are co-authors of the book Cancer Clinical Trials. Please tell us about it and what prompted you to write a book about clinical trials?
For 15 years now I have been deeply involved in clinical trials. I have talked to thousands of cancer patients about hundreds of clinical trials. Despite the fact that we spend a lot of time with each potential participant, I frequently had the nagging feeling that in the course of a clinic visit, or even several, we could never quite do a good enough job sharing all the knowledge I wanted to share with my patients. The book was the only way to get this done. Continue Reading→
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