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 Monday, Sept. 22, the 265th day of 2014. There are 100 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: The board of education has granted Thursday as a holiday for the children, with the expectation that parents who desire to have their children attend the Scott County Fair will do so on that day and save irregularity the rest of the week.
1889 -- 125 years ago: The guard fence around the new cement walk at the Harper House has been removed. The blocks are diamond shape, alternating in black and white.
1914 -- 100 years ago: The Rev. R.B. Williams, former pastor of the First Methodist Church, Rock Island, was named superintendent of the Rock Island District.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Abnormally high temperatures and lack of rainfall in Illinois during the past week have speeded maturing of corn and soybean crops.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Installation of a new television system in St. Anthony's Hospital, which includes a closed circuit channel as well as the three regular Quad-Cities channels, has been completed and now is in operation.
1989 -- 25 years ago: When the new Moline High School was built in 1958, along with it were plans to construct a football field in the bowl near 34th Street on the campus. Wednesday afternoon, more than 30 years later, the Moline Board of Education Athletic Board sent the ball rolling toward the possible construction of that field by asking superintendent Richard Hennigan to take to the board of education a proposal to hire a consultant.

(More History)