Shelli's Story: Battling "The Silent Killer" - ovarian cancer - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Shelli's Story: Battling "The Silent Killer" - ovarian cancer

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KHQ - Shelli Greenland was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2010. Her doctor told her she would be lucky if she lived two more years. Today, nearly five years later, she is still fighting and wants to raise awareness about the cancer that many call "The Silent Killer." Ovarian cancer most commonly affects women over age 63, so one can understand why Shelli was shocked to learn of her diagnosis when she was in her early 40's.

Shelli credits her three kids with giving her the strength to fight. She also credits her doctor with giving her hope and the guiding her to the best treatment options. One of the biggest messages Shelli wants everyone to hear is that you do not have to continue going to a doctor that doesn't give you hope. "So many doctors just look at you as just a number and I've had a lot of doctors look at me like they might not see me again," she said.  She urges all cancer patients to search for the doctor that's right for you. "I walked into Dr. Andrew's office and one of the first things he said to me was we're going to be Christmas card buddies for a long, long time."

Shelli is just one small voice of a larger voice that needs to be heard in spreading awareness about ovarian cancer. The reason ovarian cancer is called "The Silent Killer" is because by the time most women realize they have it, it's too late. There is one blood test though that has the potential to catch ovarian cancer early. It's called the CA 125 test. Women who have breast cancer or ovarian cancer in their family should talk to their doctor about this test. This is a test that Oprah has encouraged women with a history of the disease to talk to their doctors about as well.

Ovarian cancer symptoms:

  • Urinary urgency
  • Feeling full quickly
  • Pain during intercourse; low back pain
  • Persistent indigestion or unexplained changes in bowel habits
  • Loss of appetite; unexplained weight loss or gain
  • A persistent lack of energy


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