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Medical Minute: Ovarian Cancer Breakthrough

Grandmother Mable Parr should be a natural at driving a videogame racecar. For 21 years she drove a school bus and a tractor, but last July she hit a life-changing bump.

Mable says, “Every time I hit a rut I had pain. So I went to the doctor, and I had a CAT scan, and it was ovarian cancer.”

Mable had surgery to remove the tumor and is now getting a special kind of chemotherapy. Along with standard chemo given through an IV, Mable has chemo delivered directly into her abdominal cavity through a catheter.

New research shows women live about 16 months longer with it.

Kristine Zanotti, MD, a gynecologic oncologist, says, “We might see these women actually living through what we would consider a cancer that, that otherwise might have taken their lives.”

The method allows doctors to give 20 to 1,000 times the dose of chemo because fewer healthy cells are harmed.

"With that comes an enhanced killing effect, an enhanced effectiveness."

Mable is one of the lucky ones. She’s cancer-free and feeling better each day.

“I’ve had more time off from work than I have in 25 years, and I’m getting cabin fever.
I want to go back to work.”

After all, driving a bus is a little more up her alley, even with some helping hands.


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