Ovarian cancer survivor urges insurance signup

Ovarian cancer survivor urges insurance signup As an advocate for women with ovarian cancer, and a two-time gynecologic cancer survivor myself, I believe that access to healthcare is crucial to women with a history of cancer. Open enrollment for health insurance via the Affordable Care Act closes on March 31.

I encourage uninsured Tennesseans, especially those among the cancer community, to enroll so that they may benefit from the ACA’s ban on lifetime caps and/or preexisting conditions. As of March 1, the ASPE reports that 4.2 million people have enrolled and 83 percent have received financial assistance.

The ACA is imperative to women because there is no early detection test for ovarian cancer. However, it is highly treatable when detected in its earliest stages, which is why it’s extremely important for women to both know the symptoms of ovarian cancer, and to be able to afford medical exams/treatments.

The symptoms of ovarian cancer are bloating, pelvic pain, changes in urinary frequency or urgency and/or difficulty eating and feeling full quickly. Additional symptoms may include fatigue, indigestion, back pain, pain with intercourse, constipation and menstrual irregularities.

There is no reliable and easy-to-administer early detection test for ovarian cancer (the Pap test, which screens for cervical cancer, does not detect ovarian cancer). It whispers; listen to your body.

Also see more information online.

Sadly, only approximately 15 percent of ovarian cancer patients are diagnosed early. This low percentage is unacceptable for women and their families. If you are uninsured, I implore you to enroll at healthcare.gov. According to acafinancialhelp.com, more than half of uninsured Americans can receive coverage for less than $100 per month.


Connie Scheel
Two-time cancer survivor
Ovarian cancer advocate
Bartlett, Tenn.