Ovarian cancer: why does it often evade early detection?

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  • Daria says:

    Hello ! I have a question to ask . My mom was just diagnosed with cervical cancer stage 2. I understand and being told by medical staff at Sunnybrook hospital that to see if cancer spreading els where for example ovaries we have to wait till actual surgery to see. And now we are waiting for surgery day to be booked over 4 weeks and need to wait more because our doctor is on vacation! So my question is why No other doctors are taking patients from the doctors who is on vacations? And why ppl are have to just wait to die?!

  • Paul Taylor says:

    Hi Maria:

    I have a bit more information for you. I emailed your question to Dr. Allan Covens, head of gynecologic oncology at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre.

    He replied, “we don’t do MRI routinely, unless we are suspecting a benign process, like endometriosis.”

    That indicates, he added, “there is nothing … to suggest an advanced ovarian cancer.”
    If the MRI result, “suggests this is endometriosis, then we will be referring [you] back for management closer to home.”

    You may want to have another discussion with the members of your medical team and ask them what they think the mass might be and why they have ordered an MRI. They should be able to give you better clarity on your condition.

    I hope this helps.

    Paul Taylor

  • Paul Taylor says:

    Hi Maria:

    I can certainly understand your concerns. I think I would feel the same way you do. Your own medical team has the best knowledge of your case. You should ask your doctors about the timing of possible treatments and if it might affect your outcome. Worry is a natural response in a situation like this. Let your medical team know how you feel and what can be done to help reduce your anxiety.

  • Maria Kumar says:

    I had my first visit to your clinic three weeks ago for a large ovarian mass. I know I am in the very best hands but it will still be another week before my MRI and then an addition two weeks to get my results. I am so worried that if I have this disease it will spread by the time I have surgery. I am just so concerned that from the time this mass was found, referrals, MRI and then surgery it will be three month for a disease that is aggressive and outcomes poor.


Paul Taylor


Paul Taylor is a health journalist and former Patient Navigation Advisor at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, where he provided advice and answered questions from patients and their families. Paul will continue to write occasional columns for Healthy Debate.

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