HealthWatch: Ovarian Cancer Warning Signs

Published 08/30 2014 07:57PM

Updated 11/14 2014 11:06AM

Green Bay (WFRV)    Ovarian cancer accounts for about three percent of cancers among women, but it causes more deaths than any other cancer of the female reproductive system. 


Ovarian cancer does have some symptoms-- however those symptoms are also symptoms of other types ailments.


Which is why it is important to know the signs of ovarian cancer and get them checked out. 


Julie Desotell isn't letting ovarian cancer hold her back.  When she was going through chemotherapy-- she used it as a learning experience for her daycare kids at Trinity Lutheran School in Marinette..


"When I was in the hospital they called me and I told them I would let them color on my head when I lost my hair," said July Desotell, Marinette, Ovarian Cancer Survivor.


Julie's journey began last August when she had lower back pain and always felt like she had to go to the bathroom.


"I always had pressure to go and I was thinking I had bladder infections," explained Julie.


Her doctor couldn't find anything wrong, but Julie was persistent, "I kept going back three times before February," said Julie.


Julie was finally sent to a urologist who ordered a CT scan.


"He told me it was a big cystic mass on my ovary," said Julie.


Julie was then sent to Dr. Peter Johnson a Gynecologic Oncologist with Aurora BayCare Medical Center.


"The CT scan showed this complex mass.  And in someone in her age group a complex mass is ovarian cancer until proven otherwise," said Dr. Peter Jonson, Gynecologic Oncologist, Aurora BayCare Medical Center.


surgery was required.


"Removed the uterus, the tubes, the ovaries and they lymph nodes," said Dr. Johnson.


The biopsy showed Julie did have stage three ovarian cancer.


"I was scared at first but then I know that the lord has a plan for me," Said Dr. Johnson.


Dr. Johnson says ovarian cancer does have warning signs-- they're just non-specific like pain around the belly button and more.


"Frequency or urge of urination, new onset of that daily.  Change in the bowel habits that's persistent for two to three weeks, filling up easy when one eats," explained Dr. Johnson.


And the symptoms can point doctors in the wrong direction.


"It is very common that the symptoms can be signs of other things because they are so non-specific.  Frequency of urination is urinary tract infection. Change in bowel habits could be diverticulitis," said Dr. Johnson.


Julie's surgery and chemo were a success. http://


"Now she appears to be completely free of the disease,"  said Dr. Johnson.


"I have the best doctor ever.  And I knew I would be O.K. and Here I am six months later I'm all better," Julie said happily.


If you have any of these symptoms Dr. Johnson says you should see your physician and request a pelvic ultrasound.


To learn more call Aurora BayCare at 866-938-0035 or email mailto:// 

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