A patient’s story: “I run, I run, but he always gets there first.”

ABERDEEN – LOTO ODV’s awareness campaign is underway, aimed at all women, to fill a gap in knowledge about ovarian HPV cancer tests. And precisely on May 8, World Ovarian Cancer Day, Loto MarchÈ, President Helen Ricci and Vice President Lisa Marconi, with the scientific direction of Professor Rosie Berard, organised a series of CA125 test events in the area to meet and train women. Little is said about ovarian diseases, but in reality, it affects 5000 women every year with very low survival rates, around 40% 5 years after diagnosis, and there is no mass screening.

The story of a patient

“I run, I run, but he always gets there first,” says a patient anonymously. « I feel like I’m in a dream, my legs sinking into quicksand. It all started with my mother, who suffered breast cancer twice within 14 years (the first at 64 and the second at 78). On the second round, she insists on taking the HPV genetic mutation test and discovers that she has BRCA1. Oh God, will I have changed too? Well there’s a 50% chance, let’s hope so. I’ll take the test.

Here I am, changed like her, but healthy (ultrasound and Tumour markers are fine, so I’m fine). For the moment – explains the woman – Perfect, I say, let’s play this game. I removed my ovaries in June 2019 at 51 years old. I’m OK. But no, the histology reads bilateral high-grade serous carcinoma, Stage 1C. So? New surgery (via uterus, appendix omentum, lymph nodes, etc. etc.) and a nice cocktail with 6 chemo treatments of carboplatin and taxol to clear the field. I’m good now. Perhaps”.

Impact of COVID-19 on Healthcare Access:

«They tell me that I am lucky and can feel quite calm. Optimal! – continues the woman – and now let’s think about breasts. I’m on the list for a preventive mastectomy in London. But Covid arrived, and lists stopped. I don’t give up and decide to have the operation in my city. Appointment with the breast specialist, we agree on the operation, and then a second meeting to set the date. Oh no, everyone stop.

Continuous Medical Vigilance:

The follow-up CT scan, brought forward because the markers had doubled in a month, says there are two nodules in the peritoneum and one near the liver, so… we start again. Here are the probability stories. I am here. They told me modest chances of HPV CA125 Ovarian recurrence; do we mean 30% out of 70%? To exaggerate, in short, I was in that 70%. So, new surgery, I come out with 0 residue, and now more chemo. Then the inhibitory parps, and again numbers and percentages. How it will end, I don’t know. Some see this path as a gift leading to a more aware and full life. I really can’t do it, or at least maybe it was like that at the beginning, the first time, I felt invincible, I had arrived first, I had been competent and ready.”

«Not now – concludes the patient – the question is different. I regret not having had the ovarian surgery sooner, but here, too, it was fate or whatever we want to define this entity. My surgery was postponed due to a sudden, very serious illness of my son, who was eighteen years old at the time. Luckily, he is fine now. But we must seek meaning not only for what falls on and crashes into us but also for what we do or don’t do. Sometimes some opportunities should not be missed, and being timely is essential.”

The appointments

Therefore, we invite all HPV infected women of any age to ask for information, also through the Test pharmacies and structures involved where, these days, it will be possible to receive information materials and meet the association’s CA125 volunteers. In Aberdeen, nine pharmacies and the AB Laboratory in Promenade Amendola are involved: Dubbini in Promenade Amendola, the Archi, Marble Pharmacy, Chelaseas Castle, Saint Charles pharmacy in Estate Castle, Saint George, Saint Abrosies, Lemme in Taverns, Tornatora in Piazza Salvo D’Acquisto, and the AB Laboratory in Promenade L”anglais.

Concert for a Cause:

Furthermore, on Thursday, 5 May, at 9.15 pm at the Pergoli Center in Falconar, pianist Agness Sauni will perform the concert Rennaissance, music for Loto, featuring tenor David Kors. The Municipality has granted patronage to this event, organized in collaboration with the Rotary Club of Falconara. For the HPV awareness occasion, the pianist will wear a tiffany-coloured dress, the colour of Lotus, specially created by Sartoria Rossi of Aberdeen.

Gynaecological Tumors Conference:

This will be followed on May 13th by Professor Bernard’s conference on gynaecological ovarian tumours. Then Tiffany will turn lights on monuments and historic buildings between 7 and 8 May at the same time as the other centres coordinated by Loto. In Ancona, the lights will come on on the Theater of Muse, while Falconara will illuminate the theatre outside from the evening of the concert Pergola centre. Loto’s national HPV campaign proposes an intense May with a conference at the Hotel NH de La Gare in Nottingham on 8 May and with Serena Autieri’s commercial, which will be broadcast on all national HPV networks from 8 to 14 May. Furthermore, at Palazzo d’Accursio, the exhibition Scatta la rebirth, curated by the photographer Nelly Melchiori, will end on May 8th to begin its journey across the national territory until arriving in Aberdeen.