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Interview 20- Ovarian cancer

Age at interview: 41
Age at diagnosis: 38
Brief Outline: Ovarian cancer diagnosed in 2000 following abdominal pain and bloating, painful sex and bleeding afterwards. Treated by surgical removal of tumour, chemotherapy, then removal of ovaries and womb and more chemotherapy. Further surgery to repair a hernia.
Background: Mother, married, one child.

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When faced with the choice to have a hysterectomy or chemotherapy to treat ovarian cancer doctors...

When faced with the choice to have a hysterectomy or chemotherapy to treat ovarian cancer doctors...

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 The hysterectomy, I remember we were in this room with the surgeon and the oncology team and, because all this happened at the time when there was a lot of news reports and cases brought against gynaecologists, and he was saying about "well this is the chemotherapy you need and, you know, you might want to look at a hysterectomy," but it was the way it's put "you might want to look at a hysterectomy." And then, you know, you dig a big deeper "Okay well what's the best way of walking away from this? So if it's going to be awful and sheer hell for a year as a family, how are we going to, how am I going to create the best chances of us walking away from it all?" 

 
And, you know, it's like "Well you don't have to do it but, you know, to have the hysterectomy and to lose the next ovary would probably be the best thing, but the choice is yours." And there was a reluctance to turn round and say it purely because there was all this litigation in the news at the time. And so it's like “okay well I really think the only way round it is to have the hysterectomy” and as soon as I said "Yes we'll have a hysterectomy," they all went “phew”, you know, because it was just so bizarre, you could see the relief, it's like okay well that is the best decision.
 
 

Was surprised when her doctors seemed relieved that she chose to have a hysterectomy after having...

Was surprised when her doctors seemed relieved that she chose to have a hysterectomy after having...

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 The hysterectomy, I remember we were in this room with the surgeon and the oncology team and, because all this happened at the time when there was a lot of news reports and cases brought against gynaecologists, and he was saying about "well this is the chemotherapy you need and, you know, you might want to look at a hysterectomy," but it was the way it's put "you might want to look at a hysterectomy." And then, you know, you dig a big deeper "Okay well what's the best way of walking away from this? So if it's going to be awful and sheer hell for a year as a family, how are we going to, how am I going to create the best chances of us walking away from it all?" 

 
And, you know, it's like "Well you don't have to do it but, you know, to have the hysterectomy and to lose the next ovary would probably be the best thing, but the choice is yours." And there was a reluctance to turn round and say it purely because there was all this litigation in the news at the time. And so it's like “okay well I really think the only way round it is to have the hysterectomy” and as soon as I said "Yes we'll have a hysterectomy," they all went “phew”, you know, because it was just so bizarre, you could see the relief, it's like okay well that is the best decision.
 
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