How 10 Cancer Diagnosis ‘Misses’ Led One Patient to Advocate For Herself, Others

February 4, 2021
Ryan McDonald

In this episode of the “CURE® Talks Cancer” podcast, we spoke with a patient who was blindsided by her stage 3 ovarian cancer diagnosis several years ago. We talk about how she spent months going from specialist to specialist before finally receiving her diagnosis, and why she dedicates much of her time to advocating for others.

Imagine spending several months going from one specialist to the next and being diagnosed, and subsequently treated for, a wide range of conditions and yet still feeling something is not quite right.

For Diane Powis, that imagination became a reality in 2013 when it took 10 months of various specialist visits to receive a diagnosis of stage 3 ovarian cancer, which happened by chance when a colonoscopy to determine if she had colitis could not be completed because a blockage above her colon prevented the gastroenterologist from completing the procedure.

That blockage happened to be her cancer pushing down on her colon. Blindsided by her diagnosis, Powis says she kept thinking “if only” one of her specialist visits during the previous 10 months turned out differently, maybe she would have been diagnosed with an earlier stage of the disease.

“Looking back, if only … they really thought about my family history of breast cancer, and thought of genetics,” Powis said in an interview with CURE®. “If only they had looked at my full symptom picture, if only my doctors had coordinated my care with one another and said, ‘Hey, wait a second. This very healthy woman is suddenly having all these symptoms. What does this mean?’ But none of that, sadly, was done.”

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