WHEN 35-year-old Angela Wood first experienced signs that something wasn’t quite right, her symptom were ones familiar to many women.
“I had reflux as well as bloating and abdominal pain,” Mrs Wood said.
“Originally, it was put down to kidney stones or gall bladder issues; I did have an ultrasound, but it wasn’t a pelvic one,” she said.
Mrs Wood’s symptoms continued to worsen and at the end of August 2016 she had an urgent CT scan.
On 2 September 2016, Angela was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
“At first it was incredibly hard,” she told News Of The Area.
“Everything was taken away from me. I couldn’t work and my mum came to stay to help care for me.”
“Chemo day was cry day,” she said.
“I just tried to be as normal as I could for the kids.”
Early detection and symptomatic awareness is vital.
Statistics provided by Ovarian Cancer Australia indicate that “women have an 80 percent chance of being alive and well five years post diagnosis if the disease is caught in its early stages”.
But three-quarters of women are diagnosed “in advanced stages” and it has the “lowest survival rate of any women’s cancer”.
Angela has a strong demeanour that contrasts with her petite frame, and despite the emotional and physical pain that her ovarian cancer has caused, she describes herself as “really lucky”.
Her family and friends have rallied around her.
“Everyone has been very supportive; it is beyond words,” she said.
Her aunt, Julie Folpp, organised a fundraiser last year so the family could take time out from the day-to-day struggles associated with Angela’s gruelling treatment.
Despite the pain she continues to endure, Angela is a brave and inspiring woman.
Her central focus now is to make other people more aware.
“No red flags were raised initially, and so my main aim is to raise awareness of the symptoms, not only amongst other women, but also for those working in the medical profession.”
Angela wears a teal ribbon (the international colour for ovarian cancer awareness) and describes herself as a “walking awareness program”.
“It is important that members of the public know the symptoms. They can also help by donating funds to Ovarian Cancer Australia to assist with ongoing research and resources,” Mrs Wood said.