Life Advice

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Health & Spirit

Annie's Mailbox for 9/20/2019

Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar on

Dear Annie: September is National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month as proclaimed by the U.S. Senate and President Obama, whose mother battled the disease. Ovarian cancer is the most deadly of all gynecologic cancers, affecting one in 72 women. It is lethal and insidious -- hard to detect, difficult to treat and with no reliable screening test. A Pap test does not detect ovarian cancer. Women without ovaries can develop the disease. Seventy percent of women die within five years of being diagnosed. However, if detected in its early stages, there is a 92 percent chance of a full recovery.

Ovarian cancer does have symptoms. The NormaLeah Ovarian Cancer Foundation utilizes the easy-to-remember BEAT acronym: Bloating, Eating less while feeling fuller, Abdominal and/or back pain, Trouble with your bladder and bowels.

Our foundation honors the memory of two sisters whose lives were cut short by the disease: Norma Yecies Shagrin and Leah Yecies Hantman. Norma, my mother, carried the BRCA gene mutation, which I inherited from her. The BRCA mutation is responsible for up to 10 percent of all incidences of breast and ovarian cancer. It is also closely linked to other cancers, including colon, uterine, endometrial, pancreatic, prostate and rectal cancer. Women with a close family member who has battled one of these cancers is at a higher risk, and we urge them to request the CA-125 and HE4 blood test, as well as a transvaginal ultrasound (TVU).

Our mission is to create public awareness, promote early detection and support research for ovarian cancer. Until reliable screening tests and better treatment methods are developed, women must be educated and empowered to be vigilant self-advocates for their own health. I invite your readers to visit our website at www.normaleahfoundation.org to learn more about the disease and how they can win the battle against it. -- Jodie Shagrin Kavensky, Founder/Executive Director, NormaLeah Ovarian Cancer Foundation, Rock Island, Ill.

Dear Jodie Shagrin Kavensky: Thank you for giving us the opportunity to heighten awareness of this disease. We hope the women in our reading audience, and the men who love them, will check out your website.

Dear Annie: I disagree with your response to "Disgusted," whose friends loudly blow their noses at the dinner table. I suffer from allergies, and if I went to the powder room every time I had to blow my nose, I may as well take my dinner with me. I can't just blow it once. Nor can I take medication for it, as it interferes with my other medication. I have a friend with dementia, and it causes him to drool. I would never think of excluding him from my dinner table. Luckily, I have friends and family who love me and understand my disability. -- Disappointed

 

Dear Disappointed: We're glad your friends and family understand. Here's more on the subject:

From B.: I totally agree that it is uncouth to do this, but why make the comment that "these people are well educated with good jobs"? If they were poorly educated and unemployed, would that excuse such behavior? An individual should be respectful and considerate of his fellow man and woman. I know plenty of people who are well behaved with good manners, but do not have a terrific education or decent employment.

Ithaca, N.Y.: I have a better one -- noses that drip in the soup. Some people have a conditioned response to food, and their noses run. Of course, the owners of the noses should beg pardon and at least turn their heads away when they blow. And they might consider that some people at a table may have a conditioned reflex of stomach-turning when a nose is blown.

This Classic Annie's Mailbox column was originally published in 2014. To find out more about Classic Annie's Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit Creators Syndicate at www.creators.com.


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