Letter: Why regular exams with a gynecologist are important

Posted Online: April 24, 2014, 11:00 pm
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It is unfortunate and unacceptable that ovarian cancer is diagnosed so late in its course. In most cases the diagnosis is made in stage 3 and often in stage 3C. Survival is much less than in stage 1 or even 2 where long term survival and cure rates are much better.

There may be at least two explanations. The symptoms often point to a gastrointestinal or a urinary condition and most of the tests ordered, sometimes including colonoscopies, are aimed at ailments involving the digestive tract while the real culprit is ignored.

Another reason is that most women rely on their primary care physician or internist for their gynecological exams. They may be getting a pap smear with or without a pelvic exam. Family physicians do not go through the intensive training and experience of gynecologists. When a pelvic exam is performed it is easy to assume that they are feeling a uterus or hard colon content and miss an ovarian cancer.

It is more convenient and may involve less out of pocket expenses when deductibles have not been met for women to rely on their primary care physician only. A regular exam by a gynecologist is not carried out until a CT scan is ordered looking for something else.

I am aware of one situation when the scan was ordered before undergoing surgery for an umbilical hernia and lead to the diagnosis of advanced ovarian cancer. The importance of also seeing a gynecologist for regular checkups and female issues cannot be overemphasized.

Julie E. Bingham RN,
clinical appeals nurse,
United Healthcare
Appeals and Grievances


Local events heading

  Today is Tuesday, July 22, the 203rd day of 2014. There are 162 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: Everybody is invited to go on a moonlight excursion next Monday evening on the steamer New Boston. The trip will be from Davenport to Muscatine and back.
1889 -- 125 years ago: The mayor and bridge committee let a contract to the Clinton Bridge company for a $1,125 iron bridge across Sears canal near Milan.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Injunction proceedings to compel the Central Association to keep a baseball team in Rock Island for the remainder of the season were contemplated by some of the Rock Island fans, but they decided to defer action.
1939 -- 75 years ago: The first of the new and more powerful diesel engines built for the Rock Island Lines for the proposed Chicago-Denver run, passed thru the Tri-Cities this morning.
1964 -- 50 years ago: The Rock Island Rescue Mission is negotiating for the purchase of the Prince Hall Masonic Home located at 37th Avenue and 5th Street, Rock Island.
1989 -- 25 years ago: Quad Cities Container Terminal is being lauded as a giant business boon that will save several days and hundreds of dollars on each goods shipment to the coasts. The Quad Cities Container Terminal is the final piece of the puzzle that opens up increase access to world markets, Robert Goldstein said.

(More History)