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Home News and Update Year 2010 Woman Wanted Child, but Loses Dream to Cancer

Woman Wanted Child, but Loses Dream to Cancer

Times of India
03 April 2010
By Sumitra Deb Roy
Mumbai, India

Ovarian Cancer: What is it?
  • It usually affects women beyond the menopausal age of 45–60 years.
  • 70% of ovarian cancer cases are detected in an advanced stage.
  • General symptoms can include gastrointestinal problems, nausea and bloating.
In a cruel twist of fate, a 40–year–old Kanjurmarg housewife who knocked doors of infertility clinics for a second chance at motherhood ended up losing her reproductive organs to the deadly ovarian cancer.

Smriti (name changed) is now battling cancer that is at an advanced stage at the L H Hiranandani Hospital in Powai with high doses of chemotherapy. Doctors at the hospital had to perform a marathon surgery on her to remove the bilateral ovarian tumour that had affected her uterus, fallopian tubes and both her ovaries.

When the cancer is at an advanced stage, the priority is to save the patient rather than preserving organs that keep chances of childbirth alive, said an expert. About a year ago, Smriti and her husband decided they wanted to be parents again after losing their only 13–year–old daughter to an unknown fever.

A local infertility clinic heightened their hopes that late motherhood was not impossible. “She would happily go through all regimes of fertility treatment even if it entailed a lot of pain,” said a family member. But, as luck would have it, her first attempt at bearing a child failed.

It did not discourage the couple who started the regime all over again. But this time, she started experiencing pain and uneasiness in the abdomen. “The local infertility clinic, however, brushed it aside as some side–effect associated with treatment. They ignored it for a while,” said Dr Anita Soni, gynaecologist, Hiranandani Hospital, who first suspected the cancer.

However, beyond a point, Smriti could not breathe normally because of the abdominal swelling. Dr Soni subjected her to certain tests. And then, the chilling fact came to fore that she was suffering from ovarian cancer, and worse it was at the last stage. “We immediately performed surgery and removed her uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries because the cancer had spread before starting her on chemotherapy,” said Dr Soni. Surgical oncology consultant Dr Ian D’Souza, who is currently treating Smriti, refused to comment.

“Unfortunately, cervical cancer comes without symptoms and in 70% of the cases, gets diagnosed at an advanced stage,” said Dr Yogesh Kulkarni, consultant gynaecology onco–surgeon, Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani hospital.

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