There’s just no one better at putting complex medical conditions in understandable, digestible lay terms than Dr. Mehmet Oz. Vice-chair of surgery at Columbia University, director of the Heart Institute of New York Presbyterian/Columbia Medical Center, and author of several best-selling books on health and wellness, Oz is a superb translator of medical mumbo-jumbo, intent on giving normal people the straight and uncomplicated truth. Truth that could save their lives.
On last night’s show, the esteemed doctor tackled ovarian cancer and, as usual, brought clarity and understanding to this mysterious disease. He demonstrated – with computer animation – how the disease starts in the small, innocuous ovaries (Stage 1 of the disease when the cure rate is in the 90’s). Then, without notice, it expands though a woman’s body, overtaking surrounding organs and planting cancer cells along the way. Finally, with about 80% of women with the disease, it steals the life if its host.
For years ovarian cancer was called the Silent Killer because there were no studies on early warning signs. But, when women with the condition got organized and started talking about their experience, the overwhelming majority expressed symptoms, even at early stage. Finally, the medical community responded with a scientific study and determined that symptoms, although subtle, were evident in most women with the disease. And yet, most women are still misdiagnosed and about 30% (according to Oz) are on treatments for the wrong problem – some losing precious time while the disease continues to spread.
Dr. Oz repeated the symptoms over and over so that women who experience them will remember and will seek resolution. So, here they are once again:
--Urinary Urgency or Frequency
--Digestive Problems, such as unexplained fullness or constipation or gas
The program stressed that women should not panic if they have these symptoms because, quite frankly, who doesn’t have them from time to time? But if they are new for you and they are persistent for more than a couple of weeks, you should see a gynecologist.