Early detection best method to beat breast cancer

Published 10:23 am Saturday, October 16, 2010

by Rica Gilmore

I recently discovered I have stage four characinoid cancer with a metastases of the lymph node showing signs of a peppered liver.

The prognosis research I understood reflects a 25-year life span (slow growing). It usually takes two decades to find it.

Once diagnosed 75 percent die within five years. In my case, I have six months to two years. My doctor said, “Don’t worry about these numbers.”

So, I won’t, except in my nightmares.

I am sharing the 2010 theme for early detection in hopes no one will endure this experience. Our Cross Country kNOw Cancer Drive starts here in Franklin and takes us to Mexico, California and Nebraska to the characinoid cancer center to research dental and medical care.

Characinoid cancer tumors grow undetected for years, spreading to the lungs, lymph nodes, bones, liver, heart, ovaries, etc.

Some suffer symptoms from Characinoid syndrome such as flushing, diarrhea, heart valve lesions and cramping. Uncontrolled levels of hormones damage the body. Previously most died from heart issues and diarrhea. Now it is the tumor itself. It can spread and become very fast acting.

My paternal grandma’s carcinoma tumor outside the small intestines was removed four months after it was found. It had spread to her liver. She survived only 12 more weeks.

Early detection and prompt action were neglected. My maternal second cousin, Emily, was diagnosed at 15 years old with Characinoid cancer. The tumor was removed. She will be monitored; she may not suffer.

No early diagnosis

I had no clue I had pre-cells for slow growing cancer (cervix cancer), but the doctors did. At 24, they were removed.

Characinoid cancer is a stealth-like cruel killer, growing slow and misdiagnosed and neglected. I had stomach pains, extreme weight gain, sudden bloating with pain, severe memory loss, heart pain, loss of breath, mental confusion, flushing, muscle weakness and sleep disturbances. My fingers and toes curved in. My lungs have hurt for two years. My teeth are chronically infected.

Thankfully my doctors and pathologists knew what to look for.

The Diagnosis Journey

In 2006, the emergency room doctor gave me a constipation lecture and told me to take laxatives. In June 2010, I went to the hospital with screaming abdominal pain. They found a swollen lymph node pressing against the aorta thought to be a secondary issue.

All my tests were negative, so $10,000 later, I was told to follow up with a CAT Scan in 90 days.

My sister remembered our grandma only survived six months from this point.

The doctor guessed the pain was the chili. I did not make it 90 days. Sept. 9 — another screaming trip to the emergency room. This time to Obici. Six days later, Dr. King removed the lymph node. Three days later, I was sent home waiting.

The doctor acted quickly in obtaining appointments with specialists; they ordered testing.

I have 25 internally-infected teeth. I need the best care at a reasonable cost. So we are going to Mexico to have Oscar and Omar of Alamo Dental Clinic clear the infections.

Get second opinions

I was told no family connection. Not true; my daughter is at risk. Peppered liver cramping is a symptom of the diarrhea; not true. Cramping is not related to diarrhea, but it is its own symptom.

Too often health care professionals underestimate the malignant, metastasis potential of neuroendocrine tumors, often misdiagnosed, and delayed diagnosis. Survival for cancer patients is further compromised by fragmented care and lack of access of treatment by networks of specialist.

My appreciation for the knowledge and support of my medical professionals at Western Tidewater Free Clinic, Dr. Su, Dr. King, Dr. Manassa, Dr. Kaduri and Dr. Harris, my Obici nurses and the pathologists of The Pathology Sciences Medical Group.

A special thanks goes to my parents and my sister, Deb Drake, of Natural Health Professions for her nutritional knowledge.

My daughter has been a blessing, driving me to hours of appointments. My husband stayed the entire 12 days, only leaving for food and to get clothes a few times.

Thanks to Jackie Bly for making me “princess” soup. Thanks to all our friends for feeding my family, cleaning my house and helping out our daughter.

RICA GILMORE lives in Franklin. She is 39. Her e-mail address is rica.gilmore@gmail.com.