Fighting the Good Fight: Ovarian Cancer

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Cancer -- it's a battle thousands fight each year, a battle so many lose. That is a reality that hits home for us here as we have lost a colleague, friend, and inspiration at KXII.

Denee Frazer worked in the sales department at KXII for 13 years, before losing her battle with ovarian cancer. Her last wish was for us to help in the fight, to raise awareness, promote early detection and hopefully save lives. With the help of her dear friend Martha Sutherland, we are Fighting the Good Fight.

“I am fighting the good fight. I’m fighting this battle for my own life, but I’m fighting for other women as well.”

Ovarian cancer can be a deadly and silent killer. The warning signs are not always apparent.

Mark Frazer is Denee’s husband. He says, “The disease has symptoms that are the same as other viruses. We both had the symptoms, she went in and it was ovarian, I had an ameba from when we were on vacation.”

Dr. Tammy Roque with the Texas Cancer Center says, “The most common type of ovarian cancer is epithelial ovarian cancer. That most commonly occurs in patients that are post-menopausal. That represents about 90 percent of the patients. Those symptoms include abdominal bloating, enlargement of the abdomen, pressure/pain in their pelvis, difficulty with eating, feeling as though they are full and also problems with urination, frequency and urgency.”

But it's not just older women that are susceptible, it can occur at any age. A lot of times it's genetic. That concerns Martha because ovarian cancer goes hand in hand with breast cancer. “Frankly right now, I don't know that much about the gene testing. When they gave the test to me this morning, I said do I really want to do this? Do I really want to tell my daughter I may have this bad gene? They said yes, she needs to know.”

Dr. Roque says, “In patients that have a genetic cause for breast cancer or ovarian cancer, there is a certain gene defect, that's wing named BRCA1/BRCA2. There is a blood test that we can check for this gene defect. In some instances, breast cancer can be as high as 60 % and ovarian cancer as high as 40%.”

Scary thought, but reality. “It is rewarding to know that we have ways of diagnosing someone before they develop cancer, we're doing more research looking for proteins and other things to help diagnose before a patient develops cancer.”

Though it's not the cure, it’s a good start. After all, we are all Fighting a Good Fight.

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