Ovarian cancer awareness: Doctor says bloating a key sign women should know about

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – If you’re noticing some more teal around town, it’s not just for the Jaguars.

With September being gynecologic cancer awareness month, some women are sporting the color in observance of ovarian cancer awareness.

Having already gone through breast cancer, Cindy Sanchez thought she was one and done.

“I did six cycles of chemotherapy for that, and the tumor grew. And so, they sent me to Moffitt for an autologous bone marrow transplant and high dose chemo,” Sanchez said. “So, I figured, you know, that’s it, I’m done. I survived that.”

But later, Sanchez started having new symptoms. This included extreme bloating, pain in the lower right abdomen, and later bleeding.

Sanchez’ doctor, Dr. Tri Dinh with the Mayo Clinic said bloating is the key sign women need to know about.

He says these types of cancers are curable, but early detection is crucial.

“It could be something as simple as getting a pelvic exam. A pelvic exam will find a large pelvic mast. And that will lead to further evaluation,” Dinh said. “Bloating is not just a gastrointestinal issue, it could present a more serious problem in the ovaries.”

With the help of talented doctors and a supportive family, Sanchez had a successful surgery. She will soon start weekly chemotherapy treatments.

She says her dog, Daisey, is her recovery buddy. Now a double cancer survivor, Sanchez urges other women to be vigilant.

“Pelvic exams that your doctors recommend, and maybe even ask for them,” she said. “Because they’re so important. You know, they’re very uncomfortable. I hated them more than anything. But they’re so important. It’s the only thing that diagnosed me.”

Early detection saved Cindy Sanchez’ life, now she shares her story to help others.

About the Author:

Ashley Harding joined the Channel 4 news team in March 2013. She reports for and anchors The Morning Show.