Nipitha is a 36 year old Mother of two and a working software professional . Recently her 66 year old mother had been complaining of occasional bloating of abdomen, and had undergone few blood tests and an ultrasound of her tummy after consulting a physician. Her ultrasound report suggested a mass in her left ovary and her physician advised her to consult a cancer surgeon . She immediately consulted a Surgical Oncologist and following further evaluation and CT scan test, she was diagnosed as having Ovarian cancer. Nipitha was very much depressed ; the word cancer itself was bearing down on her, till she had a discussion about the disease with her oncologist.

Her oncologist pointed out that though the overall survival of ovarian cancer in general is a dismal 45 % after 5 years ; however going by her mother’s reports the disease appeared to be limited to only the left ovary and could well be early disease on final staging post surgery.

Approximately 92 % people with early stage are alive after 5 years . The proportion of cancer survivors varies for each stage ; with approximately 70 ℅ of stage II, 40 ℅ of stage 3 , and 18℅ of stage 4 being alive after 5 years.

She was also satisfied to know that following completion of all therapy , her mother would be followed up every 3 monthly for the initial years to look for any signs of cancer coming back. A simple blood test measuring serum CA125 will be used to monitor this. She proceeded with surgery which required the removal of the uterus and both the ovaries and a portion of fatty tissue inside the body which was called the omentum. Thankfully her surgeon told her that the disease did not seem to have spread to other abdominal organs. Her mother recovered well post surgery.

Nipitha being very much apprehensive, had started reading about cancer ovary. She learned that , had her mother’s disease been suspected to be of later stages on evaluation ; she would have had undergone chemotherapeutic treatment prior to surgery. She was thankful that such was not the scenario. The final pathological report showed that the disease was indeed early stage but was of high grade ( a characteristics of the tumor itself). Her cancer surgeon advised her to proceed for chemotherapy which would be taken care of by Medical oncologist. Following a few blood tests her chemotherapy commenced. Her medical oncologist had warned her that she will experience few side effects which might include loss of hair, anemia, diarrhoea, nauseating feeling, or a tingling sensation in her hands and legs. She tolerated the chemotherapy well and following completion of therapy had been on follow up with regular visits, every 3 monthly, with her oncologist for last three years.

These times had taught Nipitha a lot. Nipitha had learnt to move from despair to hope, from psychological asthenia to resilience , and a new founded love and bonding with her mother.

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MS Surgery, Mch Surgical Oncology, Fellowship in Minimal Access Surgery( FMAS) , Consultant Surgical Oncologist and Minimally Invasive Cancer Surgeon