Gretchen is the founder of OutRun Ovarian Cancer (OROC). She was compelled to help people understand this life-threatening disease after it affected her own loved ones. She describes the symptoms you need to know and what to do if you suspect ovarian cancer.
Spreading awareness of ovarian cancer symptoms.
Familial Ovarian Cancer
Gretchen’s mother was diagnosed when her ovarian cancer was at stage 1, but it wasn’t until her mother’s sister was diagnosed at an advanced stage that the family realized this was not a coincidence. In fact, this was a genetic problem for the women in her family.
That’s when Gretchen and a group of go-getting women selflessly gathered to create OROC for awareness, encourage, and support the research of this orphan disease. With one-half of the 28,000 women diagnosed yearly dying, the numbers still aren’t great enough compared to other cancers to warrant funding for research. Therefore, little research has been available and there is still no diagnostic test for women.
OROC wants women to know the signs and symptoms and have a dialog with your doctor. Gretchen explains women must not let their concerns be dismissed and to make it a priority to only have surgery by a gynecological oncologist who has had plenty of experience.
Important to Know
Gretchen explains why women should NOT settle for a general surgeon or oncologist with this disease.
Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer
Ovarian cancer usually presents with a constellation of symptoms. Keep in mind some or all of the following could be symptoms of ovarian cancer:
- Abdominal pressure, bloating or discomfort, feeling “full”
- Constipation, diarrhea/changes in bowel function
- Frequent urination/changes in bladder patterns
- Nausea, indigestion and/or gas
- Abnormal bleeding
- Shortness of breath
- Unusual fatigue/backaches
- Unexpected weight gain, increased abdominal circumference
- Unexpected weight loss
Gretchen affirms the advice that “we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with,” as she believes her superpower in life is the strong “tribe” of people around her.
Gretchen believes women need to be strong and take care of themselves. Therefore, her favorite quote from Louisa May Alcott, author of Little Women, is “The storm is coming but I’m learning to sail my ship.”
“Regrets are a waste of time and energy; just live each day the best you can and put your head on the pillow at night, thanking God for another beautiful day.”
Gretchen Nock’s secret to Aging Gracefully is gratitude for the lives we’ve been given and the gifts God has given us!
Please share your biggest takeaway in the comment box below.
What did YOU learn from Gretchen?
Remember: This is important information for the women you know. Please share this article, interview, and the OROC website with your friends!
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