A True Activist After Beating Cancer
- Dianne Boothby, 64, found out she had ovarian cancer just months after her husband’s stage 3 bowel cancer diagnosis in August 2021. Luckily, they are now both in remission.
- After realizing there is not much awareness for the typical symptoms of her disease—bloating and an overall feeling of fullness—she intended to do something about the fact that many doctors will put off these early warning signs as IBS or PMS. In their defense, they most commonly are, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t look further if symptoms persist.
- Diane also aims to warn people about those making money off of gut health. While natural healing and balance in your body can absolutely be helpful and effective for many issues and diseases, it is more of a complementary treatment—not something that can cure ovarian cancer.
64-year-old Dianne Boothby found out she had ovarian cancer just months after her husband’s stage 3 bowel cancer diagnosis.Read More
The former theatre stage hand from Norfolk, England has been married to her husband, Paul, 69, since 1978.
As survivors, they had one goal: to make it to their 43rd anniversary. But they did a whole lot better than that, as they are BOTH thankfully now in remission.
“I went from caring for someone with cancer to being someone with cancer — and Paul went from being someone with cancer to caring for someone with cancer,” she told the Daily Mail’s FEMAIL.
“You have to push how you’re feeling to get diagnosed — if I’d left it and left it, who knows what could have happened,” she added.
Taking Action to Fight Ovarian Cancer
Diane has now joined forces with Target Ovarian, an organization setting out to do something about the disease’s “awareness crisis,” and it’s looking to be a perfect fit so far. First and foremost, she says they want to steer women away from so-called professionals making money off of healing your “gut health,” which is when there is an imbalance of bacteria in your system.
“Sadly I’ve seen women spend a lot of money on these coaches and experts due to a lack of awareness about the reality of the disease,” she shared. “Everyone can do what they feel is best but the charities are working round the clock to let people know that an ovarian scan is the best way forward.”
While natural healing and balance in your body can be helpful and effective for many issues and diseases (as gut health is important and imbalance can indeed wreak havoc), it is more of a complementary treatment—not something that can cure ovarian cancer.
“I underwent surgery to remove my ovaries, which has left me with a scar – that I have no issue showing off because I want to make people aware of how serious this is.”
“They call this disease the silent killer, as many women put down the symptoms to PMS or IBS,” she added of the mimicking symptoms.
Ovarian Cancer Symptoms
Ovarian cancer is sometimes called “the cancer that whispers” because the symptoms, though not silent really, can be very subtle, says Dr. Heidi Gray, gynecologic oncologist at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance.
“For instance, patients may have some bloating, or changes with their urinary habits, which they might attribute to something else and not be too concerned.”
Because the symptoms aren’t announcing themselves with great fanfare, many women don’t seek medical attention until the disease is already advanced and has metastasized.
In addition to feeling bloated or full, other symptoms of ovarian cancer may include:
- Back pain or pain during sex
- Constipation or upset stomach
- Weight loss and swelling around the abdomen
- Changes in your menstrual cycle such as heavy or irregular bleeding
We can all do our part by helping to spread the word and look out for other women.
Target Ovarian recently wrote an open letter to the government (with 21,762 signatures), stating their tag line, “There is an awareness crisis in ovarian cancer.”
That is what action looks like! Bravo to Diane and her fellow activists for boldly trying to make a difference. You have to start somewhere and that’s a large leap forward.