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Ovarian Cancer Campaign Kicks Off Tuesday

September 12, 2011, 6:30 PM by Casey Wonnenberg

Ovarian Cancer Campaign Kicks Off Tuesday
SIOUX FALLS, SD - Two out of every three women diagnosed with ovarian cancer dies. That's because people often don't realize they have the disease early enough.

On his show this week, Doctor Oz will explore how we can prevent ovarian cancer deaths. He'll unveil his Break The Silence National Ovarian Cancer Campaign.

It's a disease that Sue Theobald of Sioux Falls knows all too well.

"I'm walking. I'm trying to eat real healthy. You have to do your share too," Theobald said.

Still, it wasn't enough to prevent her from getting ovarian cancer.

"When you tell people you have ovarian cancer, they say, 'Ohh, that's a tough one,'" Theobald said.

Theobald is not the first in her family to suffer from cancer. Her husband died from Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma 13 years ago.

"My husband remained pretty positive, but inch by inch, he lost the use of practically everything. He was in a wheelchair. He couldn't use his hands. He couldn't feed himself in the end. It was tough. It was tough to watch," Theobald said.

While Theobald has been cancer-free for three years now, many women aren't so lucky.

"Ovarian cancer unfortunately is usually diagnosed in its later stages, stage three of four. 70 percent are diagnosed at stage three or four, and that's because the patients have symptoms but they attribute these symptoms to something else, like stomach flu or some gastrointestinal issue," Dr. Maria Bell of Sanford Women's Health said.

Bell said the early warning signs are a change in bowel movements, difficulty eating or feeling full quickly, and abdomen growth.

"The lifetime risk for ovarian is 1 in 70. If you compare that to breast cancer, which the lifetime risk is 1 in 8, it's very different, but the mortality rate is high with ovarian cancer because it is diagnosed in its later stages, and we don't have a screening test for ovarian cancer," Bell said.

Theobald is making great strides, and she's taking steps toward a healthier life. She walks several miles a day with the help of her walking poles.

"When I started walking after my chemo was done, I was kind of teetering," Theobald said.

Still, she's not complaining. Theobald knows the majority of people diagnosed with ovarian cancer do not survive.

"I'm doing so well now. I'm very blessed. God gave me a positive attitude for some reason; maybe it was for this," Theobald said.

Doctor Oz will unveil his five warning signs that could save your life Tuesday at 4 p.m. on KELOLAND-T-V.

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