LIFESTYLE

"It Took Two Years And Eight Doctors": Fran Drescher Speaks About How Doctors Missed Her Uterine Cancer To Raise Awareness For Early Detection

Date September 28, 2018 20:06

Back in 1999, when Fran Drescher was still working on the last season of her hit sitcom The Nanny, she developed a set of unexplained symptoms. It took her two years and eight doctors to finally figure out what was wrong.

 

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Every doctor she had visited attributed Drescher’s symptoms to perimenopause. She was even prescribed hormone replacement therapy, which made her symptoms even worse.

Finally, the eighth doctor the actress visited ordered an endometrial biopsy. That’s when Drescher finally learned what was wrong with her: She had uterine cancer.
 
Fortunately, the cancer was still at stage 1, as it was quite slow-growing, Drescher said. The only treatment she needed was a hysterectomy. In June 2000, her uterus was removed and she was declared cancer-free.

Drescher is the lucky one, as her cancer was caught early. But it’s still hard for her to comprehend why it took doctors so long to diagnose her. Speaking to Fox News, she said:

I kept being placed on hormonal replacement therapy… Most women that get uterine cancer are post-menopausal or obese. And since I was neither, they were quite certain it wasn’t that… I still don’t understand why everybody was so quick to dismiss that and put me on hormones. Don’t trust anybody with your life.

Do your own research. The more you know, the better off you are. Knowledge really is power. The more you can say to doctors, ‘Well, what about this? Why can’t we rule out this?’ They say cancer is a silent killer. That’s not true. We’re just not noticing the little things, like sudden digestive problems, backache, [and] weight gain like a pound a month. These can all indicate a more serious problem.

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Being a cancer survivor led Drescher to discover what she considers one of the most important roles in her life: she became a cancer awareness activist.

In 2003, she published a memoir titled Cancer Schmancer. A few years later, the actress started the Cancer Schmancer Movement, a nonprofit aimed at raising awareness about cancer and urging people to get regular screenings.

These days, Drescher continues her work as a cancer awareness advocate. Her goal is to educate as many women as possible about cancers of the reproductive system and promote early detection of these cancers. Keep up the good work, Fran!

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