Judy died of Ovarian Cancer

Judy died of Ovarian Cancer

Courtenay, B.C. - Saturday, December 13, 2003 by: Carol M. Martin

My friend, Judy died of Ovarian Cancer on August 17th. The purpose of this page is to bring awareness of ovarian cancer to as many women as possible.
the late Judy Lidgate and her friend Carol Martin October 2002 during Judy's chemotherapy.

In the previous months before Judy was diagnosed with cancer, she didn’t feel right. Judy, an energetic positive person, started to complain about feeling tired. Judy noticed changes in her bowel habits; she was having  more back problems, headaches, sleep problems, and some “spotting” despite being post-menopausal.

Ovarian Cancer can strike at any age, but most cases affect women between the ages of 50 and 75 years. The average age when ovarian cancer is detected in women is 56.3 years. Unfortunately, 75% of ovarian cancer cases are diagnosed at advanced stages where survival rate is low. This year it is estimated that in Canada, 2,600 women -- one in 70 — will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer. 1,500 women will die from this cancer in 2003. Ovarian cancer has the highest mortality rate of all women's cancers.

Some risk factors are familial link for ovarian cancer in 10% of cases, never being pregnant, family history of breast, endometrial, or colorectal cancer, history of infertility and early menstruation and late menopause. 

There is no single early detection test available such as the mammography in breast cancer or the colonoscopy in colorectal cancer. The Pap test is not a test for ovarian cancer. Knowledge is the most important and the best weapon in the fight against this disease.  

All women need to be aware of the following possible symptoms and signs of Ovarian Cancer.

  • Generalized discomfort in the abdomen, bloating, pelvic pain.

  • Persistent but vague stomach upset — gas, feeling of nausea, indigestion.

  • Non-specific bodily discomfort that persists or a feeling of uneasiness that you cannot explain.

  • A feeling of early satiety -- feeling too full for no valid reason.

  • Loss of appetite.

  • Unexplained changes in bowel habits  …  feeling constipated or needing to urinate frequently in the absence of an infection.

  • An unexplained weight gain. “Swelling in the abdomen with no pain” or unexplained weight loss.

  • Pain during intercourse.

  • Fatigue unrelieved by bed rest.

  • Back ache.

  • Sometimes unusual bleeding from the vagina. 

If you have any of these symptoms and they persist for longer than two to three weeks, make an appointment to see your  doctor immediately. It is important though to remember that these symptoms and signs are not unique to ovarian cancer. If after seeing your Doctor, you still have concerns, go see him or her again to discuss these concerns.  Ask for a referral to a Gynaecologist 

My girlfriend and I had many intimate talks while she was fighting to live.  The one talk that stands out the most is when she said to me,

“Carol, Get to know your body. Be aware of changes, follow your instincts and if something does not feel quite right, don't hesitate to seek medical attention!"  


For those women who are at high risk of developing ovarian cancer, a CA125 blood test with a transvaginal ultrasound may be used as a screening tool. 

To find out more about this disease visit this sites:  


Carol M. Martin

Judy Lidgate memorial page on OvCa.net
National Ovarian Cancer Coalition,NOCC
Ovarian Cancer National Alliance OC
National Cancer Institute, Cancer.gov, Ovarian Cancer Home Page
National Ovarian Cancer Association, Canadian community for ovarian cancer.
Medline Plus Health Information, Ovarian Cancer
John's Hopkins Pathology, Ovarian Cancer
The Gilda Radner familial Ovarian Cancer Registry Buffalo New York
Oncology Channel,Ovarian Cancer, Health Communities.com
Woolf, Steven H., Screening for Ovarian Cancer, 1996 update of original publication in 1994, Washington, D.C., U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
Comforth, Tracee, Ovarian Cancer: The "Silent" Killer undated, About
Ovarian Cancer Control Initiative, Ovarian Cancer Awareness, 2003, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta Georgia
BBC News Ovarian Cancer, March 17, 2003, 2000, BBC New World Edition
Cancer Research UK,Ovarian Cancer
Knopf, Kevin M.D., M.P.H., Ovarian Cancer, July 23, 2002, Yahoo Health, A.D.A.M. Inc. VeriMed Healthcare Network


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